August’s Capital Defender: Summer Squasher

Summer Squasher

Summer Squasher

Name: Summer Squasher

Number: V8

What are the reasons behind derby name and number?
One of my life passions is promoting healthy living. I follow pesca-vegetarian diet. I wanted to choose a name that says something about me but also fits derby. The number V8 matches with this as it is product that promotes healthy eating. Additionally, the number V8 is a reminder of a powerful engine. I strive to achieve strong fitness, a powerful core/engine. And, I have a ’93 Corvette that happens to have a powerful V8 engine.

Which position do you play?
I play all positions though I have not jammed since breaking my leg a year ago. Since returning to the sport in May 2012, I have played pivot and blocker positions.

What is your favorite thing about derby?
It is so much fun to practice and play the sport. The fun comes from the exercise itself, competition, and opportunity to meet and interact with strong women from a variety of backgrounds.

What is your most memorable derby moment?
It was our home game on June 18, 2011. I had my personal best performance, scoring 47 points as jammer (and only playing jammer position in a single half). Our team was about to achieve its first win of the season. With only a few moments to go, I could taste victory. I went in to jam for what seemed to be the last jam of the game. No one achieved lead jammer. By my 3rd or 4th scoring pass, I was tired, but I could not call off the jam. Two blockers shut the elevator door on me, and my ankle contorted very awkwardly. I broke 2 bones in my leg. I’ll never forget the great things about that night and my injury. If I hadn’t felt so positive about my play and had wonderful supporters around me, I probably would not have had the will necessary to heal and return to the sport.

What are your goals in roller derby?
My goal is to be a well-rounded player who excels at all positions. I want to play the sport for many years. I seek to be a highly competitive player who achieves this without breaking any more bones.

Who is your favorite roller derby player?
Bonnie Thunders. She is an incredibly talented player but is also very humble.

Who is your favorite roller derby team? Gotham City

Summer Squasher jamming - AKoch Photography

Summer Squasher jamming - AKoch Photography

What first attracted you to derby?
I was in New Orleans in 2009 and saw the Running of the Bulls. Through this, I learned the sport existed. A coworker told me that his daughter played with RSRD and encouraged me to join. I was already a marathon runner and triathlete but also an able skater and football fan. Roller derby was naturally something that could become an interest.

What type of gear do you prefer?
After suffering 2 ankle injuries, I decided to switch to ice skater style boots. I wear custom Riedell 336 art boots. These are very rigid boots that offer maximum ankle protection. I use Reckless Evader wheels on indoor floors most often. I use Radar Pure wheels for outdoor skating.

What do you do when you’re not playing derby?
I’m a Global Quality Leader at a major chemicals company. I enjoy exercise, dancing, and cycle about 4 days per week. I frequently travel for work and cycling or hiking vacations. What I enjoy most about travel is the opportunity to understand people and cultures from around the world.

Do you have any advice to anyone thinking about playing derby?
Derby is a great sport that enables fun play, stress relief and camaraderie. If you enjoy skating, competition, and contact and are willing to meet time requirements for the sport, you should do it!

Did you play any sports before roller derby?
I played junior high softball. In college, I played recreational flag football and softball. I was a marathon runner and triathlete for many years before switching my primary sport to skating. Most of my sport experience is with individual sports instead of team sports.

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