She joined our league last year and fit in immediately with her voice of reason and give’r attitude. This breath of fresh air knocks you flat on your a$$ and we love her for it! Go Di Harderest!!
AB: Congratulations on your October title!
DH: Thanks so much! This is awesome, and a huge honour!
AB: What is your derby background?
DH: I started derby in February 2011, in Fredericton, NB. I’d been a gym rat for a while, and was looking for a new challenge. Fredericton was a very new league at that point, having just been formed the summer before, so I got to grow up with them. I started in training as a jammer, because in those days before structured Fresh Meat, small girls tended to just be sent to that side of the room. I’m a small girl with a big old butt, though, so I quickly developed a preference for blocking. I played for house teams and the Daisy Cutters in Fredericton, and then moved to PEI last year, where I’ve found the most awesome derby home.
AB: We are currently coaching Fresh Meat these days, what’s your favourite part of training new skaters?
DH: I love helping new skaters reach those “A ha!” moments in their skills development. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and some of my derby revelations took a REALLY long time to come to me. It’s fun to show someone a little trick, and watch their eyes light up. I think that sometimes, when you’re new, those skills hurdles can be really frustrating, and can hold up your ability to progress. It’s energizing to help someone push through that.
AB: As we hit our off-season, what are your derby plans?
DH: My off-season goal is to make this as little like an off-season as I possibly can. I want to skate as much as possible, and train hard to be a better player next season. I want to work on ALL my suck. I want to hit the track like a boss next spring!
AB: You are our Communications Director on the Board of Directors. How has this position affected your life (not just your derby life)?
DH: It’s definitely forced me to be more socially outgoing, and has helped cure my procrastination bug. I tend to be an extreme non-planner, and just fly by the seat of my pants a lot. That doesn’t work when you’re responsible to make things happen! It’s been challenging, and not always fun, but sometimes very fun. I think it’s made me look at my capabilities in a more positive light, which is encouraging.
AB: What are some of your favourite things to do outside of derby?
DH: There’s life outside of derby? This is a hard question! Well, I’m an accomplished knitter and weaver, and I like to sew. I rarely find the time, but I love dyeing wool and silk, and spinning yarn. I like to draw and paint a little. I love archaic video games, especially the Legend Of Zelda series. But mostly, if I’m not on skates, I’m goofing around with my derby pals, which is the best thing.
AB: You played on both Moonshine Maidens and the All-Stars this year. Were there major differences between the teams?
DH: There are always differences in team dynamics, but I try to keep my goal the same, no matter who I’m on the track with. I strive to always play as hard as I can, and to keep my head in the game, which can be very challenging for me. With the Maidens, I have SO much fun, because I often get to be a leader. I’ve never done that before this season. I get to play really hard, and it’s still fun, because we have this wonderful group dynamic. I’ve never had more fun in derby than I’ve had with my Maidens. With the All-Stars, I am really challenged to improve my skills, and to face really tough opponents. That can be a huge internal struggle sometimes, but comes with a huge payoff. I honestly feel that continuing to challenge myself is what keeps me alive in derby.
AB: You have a pretty funny derby name, was that a movie or something?
DH: Haha, yeah, with that Bruce Willis guy? I really adore the Die Hard movies. Any true Die Hard fan knows that if the first movie was “Die Hard”, and the second one was “Die Harder”, then the third one should have been “Die Hardest”. Back in the day when your derby name had to be registered, Two Evils wouldn’t let me have “Di Hardest”, so I just improvised with a word I made up, which I think is even harder than hardest. John McClane would approve.
AB: Skating with 2 teams and holding a position on the BOD can take an overwhelming amount of time and energy. What keeps you motivated to give’r?
DH: I want to be about one million times better at derby than I am. I know that I’ve made huge strides in improving my game, but I am not anywhere close to where I think I could be, and that makes me want to WORK. In my head, I have an image of my derby self that I want to live. Until I reach that, I’ve got to hustle. And the BOD allows me to give back a little to the group of people who keep me afloat while I try to reach my goal.
AB: I know it’s an off-season away, but what does your 2015 season look like?
DH: In 2015, I want to be a bada$$. I want to skate as much as possible. I want to grow as a player. I want to skate really hard, and hit really hard and be really awesome. I’m totally gonna make her cry here, but my 2015 goal is to channel my inner Billie the Shiv. And to have fun. Roller Derby is fun!
*Thanks for the awesome photo of DiHarderest, Alex Tabor!!