Queen City Cherry Bombs and the Seabrook Meltdowns
Prissassin… such a deadly and sleek name. While I think of James Bond, I can also see how that name fits with your involvement in the equestrian world. Tell us a little bit about your other life as a horsewoman.
Picking a name is tough! I love espionage/spy movies and wanted something to go along with that. I was deciding between two names and I picked one that I would have to “fill its shoes” so to speak. Something aggressive to work towards. And it wasn’t already taken, so that helped me to decide! However, I am in a constant battle with my number. It’s M-I (eye) – 6. Not M-sixteen; but I am committed to it! It’s also very Bond-esque.
As for “horsey life” as I call it, I have ridden since I was 8 years old. When I was 13, I got an off-the-track Thoroughbred to retrain. I mainly did eventing (dressage, cross country & show jumping) and Pony Club competitions with him. The United States Pony Clubs is a youth equestrian organization that I was a member of and now volunteer and teach for all over the country. I coach and teach kids riding; how to take care of their horse; and indirectly, life skills. It’s really great to give back to an organization that gave me so much. I stepped back a little from it for the past two years in order to focus on skating. I know horses will always be a part of my life, but right now skates are a bit easier! No vet bills, and no New England winters to deal with!
You are Corporate Trainer in your “day job”. What exactly IS that and which is easier to work with, animals or people?
Basically, I train people how to do their jobs. I also do some job coaching/feedback as well as technical writing of procedures. Through horseback riding and coaching, I have taught since I was a teenager. In a corporate environment, however, it’s a bit different as it’s a lot more structured and purpose-driven (and there are no cute ponies). I really like working with people and helping them succeed. Sometimes the biggest challenge HOW to get them there and to work with their strengths. I relate a lot of it to derby and I almost can’t HELP but give feedback/advice in derby (Sorry NHRD!). Different people are motivated by different things. Skating has a huge mental component and you have to figure out how you and others work to get the best out of a team.
Animals or people? Hmm, I think it depends on the mood. Animals are not much for conversation, right? But if you respect them and have patience they can become a pretty good team. I learned a LOT about patience as a teenager from riding. You can’t just have a temper tantrum and get a 1000 lb. animal to do what you want. But with work and schooling you can really develop a bond and trust. On a cross country course, you have to trust coming into a 3 ½ foot fence that he is going to actually jump and not stop and you as the rider go flying over his head onto the other side. And conversely, when you ask him to jump off of a 5 ft. drop at a water fence, he has to trust that you are not sending him to his doom. I find in derby, especially as a jammer, you have to trust your teammates too. They can make or break it for you. It’s a team effort as everyone has a part in the success of a jam. But derby girls know how to have fun after skating. I can’t see my pony dancing to Lady Gaga at an after party. Maybe animals vs. People is a draw.
Playing in an organized sport is a new concept for many of the women on our league. You are obviously very athletic. What are some of your other athletic endeavors?
That’s funny you say that! I’ve never played an organized sport before. Trying out/joining NHRD was quite a stretch and out of my comfort zone. The closest thing was doing mounted games on horseback. It’s like a relay race with teammates. You pick up objects and drop them in buckets, or jump off and vault back on your pony and hand off to the next rider. That’s a bit more athletic and it’s something that I am still involved in now. I coach a club of awesome kids on the NH seacoast, some who have even gone to our national championships!
I also love hiking, skiing, snowboarding and cycling/touring and have biked from Ocean City, MD to Cape Hatteras, NC. It was on that bike trip that I realized how important the “mind over matter” aspect is in sports and life. I completed every mile of that trip and there were points where sheer willpower of “getting it done” was what got me through (Though up the long slow incline of Kill Devil Hills, Twinkies and Gatorade saved the day.). It is a lot like skating, where completing a drill/jam sometimes takes sheer mental might. Derby makes you realize that you CAN do a lot more than you think you can, and that size/height/weight is only part of the equation. I don’t think of myself as very athletic, but I’m working on it! Off season workouts are obviously important. I came into last year stronger and with better endurance from working in the off season with our league. I have awesome teammates and we’re hoping to really push each other this year on the off-season. A little accountability never hurts! (Yes, I went to the gym today, Ethel!)
You are very involved in derby – being on a home team and a travel team; Public Relations; Bout Production with Roxie Rollin’… (organizing Roller Consolation can bring grown men to their knees.) How do you do it all? Also, could you talk a bit about being on a HOME Team vs. a TRAVEL Team?
It’s cliché, but derby takes over your life. You really get involved with the “force” that is your league and want it to succeed. And I’m a do-er/leadership-type so I find myself hopping in where I can. I’m lucky to have a supportive derby widow, Mr. Priss. The derby life balance is tough but, if you can get it right, it’s all worth it.
I will talk to anyone about derby so PR was an obvious fit. I love working with my skater sister Roxie, and we moved over to Bout Production midway through the year to help finish up and run Roller Consolation. Kim KarBASHyouin and BP’s awesome idea for Roller Consolation weekend was a lot of work to organize but to see it happening was just amazing. Derby was in full force at JFK! Roxie and I were thoroughly exhausted by Sunday afternoon but we looked at each other in the parking lot and said “We did it!” So maybe a good trial by fire.
I’m on two teams, the Cherry Bombs and the Meltdowns. It’s a lot of work and you can get burned out towards the end of the season. I had a skating “trial by fire” starting my bouting career with 7 bouts in 10 weeks, in 2 states and 2 countries. Yet it was worth it! So much experience. From day one, skating with the Meltdowns was like a cohesive unit. Home Teams have such a mix of different abilities that you really learn and absorb from vets. It IS tough to skate against your own league mates on other home teams, but if you have a good mindset then that all ends on the track. The Meltdowns, I think we are all really proud of each other: our team and our games this year. Nothing says team like rocking baby poo green logos, right?
The Cherry Bombs has had a bit more of a changing roster as people got drafted up throughout the year. We were lucky to have had some really seasoned vets on our team to help us noobees! I think it’s a bit different than the Meltdowns, as our opponents are not as familiar. Each bout we had to really adapt quickly to our opponents and rely on each other to stick to what we know. We had some tough losses, but some games like Maine and our away bout at GSRD were my favorites because it pushed me to rise to the occasion. I think travel teams give you that push to stretch your comfort zone.
Home teams are a big part of our league though, as they are the ones with the droves of fans! Look for some great action from our home teams at each bout in 2012!
I hear you have a motorcycle license. While this is not uncommon for the women of NHRD, this tidbit of information about you surprises me!
This is true. I started riding in college and I’ve had my license since 2000. I love riding but I don’t have a bike right now. Hint: If you want to ride–definitely take the NH DOT rider training class. One of our refs, May B. Knotty, teaches so maybe you’ll get her as an instructor. She rocks!
For a long time (and maybe even still), many people think you, Techno Destructo, and Maxine Kerosene are the same person. Want to clear that up for us?
We are the same person. You all are just seeing things. Freaks! Actually, our Ref Vincent Van Gotothebox made a convenient Venn diagram explaining. The three of us started as fresh meat together in April of 2010, and they are some of my favorite people in derby. We are skinny, but different heights. We also had longer/darkish hair when we started. It was a pretty big fresh meat class so perhaps it was confusing at first as our league literally doubled in size within a year. A year later–the joke gets old if you start to think people really can’t tell you apart, but I think as we started to scrimmage and get teamed it helped differentiate because we do skate differently. Techno is on the Meltdowns with me, and has legs for miles. She has the BEST aggression faces when she skates. She also got drafted onto the Cherry Bombs and has been a force of nature. Max is on the Nightmares. Max never skated before derby and even through injuries and time off is amazing at what she does. Both on and off the track she is “all in”. If you’ve seen her, she also has the best fashion sense, of course. Me? I like to goof around, swoop a lot, gallop on skates, and as Max says, I have “an affection for wearing checkered items”. We’ve threatened to switch helmets and shirts for entire scrimmages before. It might have to happen just to see if people are paying attention.