MexiCan MangleHer #55
You recognize her by her signature Dia de los Muertos makeup. Her teammates appreciate her for her dogged determination, quirky personality, and huge heart. And our opponents fear her for the fierceness with which she tears up the track!
Our beloved MexiCan MangleHer has come a long way from the first time she laced up her (purple) skates. Derby requires a ton of courage, perseverance, dedication, and fearlessness, and Mexi brought all of it. She showed up, worked her tail off, and kept finding improvement and success. She's proof that if you believe in yourself, you can do anything. Mexi can! And she did!
Read on to learn more about Mexi.
How did you come up with your name?
I am half Mexican and thought it would be cool to come up with a name that represents my heritage. I added MangleHer to it because it sounds tough.
What position(s) do you like to play and why?
During bouts I am primarily a blocker, which is my most favorite position because I have others on the track with me doing the same thing. But sometimes during scrimmages I like to jam because it is a whole different type of challenge and you really only need to focus on one thing (getting through the pack and scoring points).
How did you get involved with derby?
About four years ago, I heard about it through a friend who trained with the new recruits. I thought to myself, “Wow, that sounds like fun!” To be honest, I was too scared at first—I thought I was too short to contend with these girls, so I decided to hold off. But derby never left the back of my mind. Finally, a year later I watched a bout at the Graham Arena and was surprised to see that derby girls come in all different shapes and sizes! It was then I realized that I would definitely fit in with this crowd! So I waited until the next new recruit session, bit the bullet, and said to myself, “I got this!” I have never looked back.
What is your athletic background? Did you skate before derby?
I did recreational gymnastics and Tae Kwon Do but never really participated in any team sports. Honestly, before derby I only skated ONE time at a roller rink when I was about 10 years old. Other than that, I had zero skating experience. Starting from rock bottom was extremely difficult at first, and it took me a long time to catch up to my more experienced teammates. But if you believe in yourself, stick with your goal, and never give up, you will eventually get to where you want to be.
What’s your favorite part about derby?
The challenges it gives me and realizing that hard work creates success.
Describe your greatest derby success.
Passing my last skill to make a chartered roster: 27 laps in 5 minutes!
Describe your biggest derby obstacle/disappointment and how did you overcome it?
My biggest obstacle was trying to make a roster. I waited a whole year for it to happen and towards the end I really began to doubt myself. I was even left off rosters that weren’t full due to my skills not being up to par. But, I overcame it after finally passing all my skills and seeing my name on the roster list for the last bout of the season. It was the best feeling in the world because I put so much work in for a long time; it was then I knew I finally accomplished what I set out to do.
Besides skating, what other roles do you take on for the team (committees, volunteering, etc)?
I am part of the social committee, and last season I was general manager on the board of directors.
What do you do outside of derby (career, family, hobbies, etc)?
I have been working full time as a health unit coordinator for the past 16 years. I have been with a wonderful man for the past 10 years, and we have 3 beautiful, smart, and talented daughters who are all dedicated gymnasts. We also have a basset hound named Jax. Life is busy, but in my free time I love to sew, read, shop, and hang out with friends. I am also a big fan of camping in the summer and fall.
How has derby changed you (physically, emotionally, mentally, etc)?
Derby has definitely made me a stronger person in all aspects. I look at my body differently—in a positive way—even if it hasn’t changed much physically. I believe in myself more than I have in my life, and after becoming a derby girl, I feel that if I can do this, I can literally do anything.