By Jim Almy
It took some time for Rumble Fist (#9) to get the courage to tryout for the Rat City Rollergirls. But when she entered tryouts in 2010 and was selected to spend time in the Rat Lab she says, “It was the best thing I’ve done for myself.”
The Sockit Wenches also think it worked out alright for Rumble Fist as they voted her the Most Valuable Player for their opponent, Derby Liberation Front (DLF), after their Saturday, March 15, bout in KeyArena.
She spent a month in Rat Lab four years ago before DLF drafted her and they have been her team since.
Her interest in roller derby began when she was an undergrad. “I just knew right away it would be a sport that would fit me.” After college she moved to Seattle in 2007 and began working on that courage thing. “I’d skated my whole life, but for fun in roller rinks and on streets and trails. I didn’t have any formal training before derby.”
High school was the last time she participated in organized sports, playing varsity soccer, cross country and swimming.
Rumble Fist says she is predominately a blocker for DLF, the only undefeated team in the league this season and one preparing to enter the championships on April 12 in a bout against the Throttle Rockets. She says that sometimes her coach, Ho Chi Danh, will throw her in as a relief jammer. She jammed enough to score 22 points in DLF’s 326-134 win over the Sockit Wenches.
She says her game strategy is all mental. She just tells herself not to give up. “There’s so many great skaters in the league. Some of them on my team. And a lot of time it’s not an individual skater that’s difficult to get by, but a certain combination of skaters. There’s a different and unique challenge that each team on RCRG presents that I have to figure out how to maneuver and play against.”
Rumble Fist finished graduate school last December at the University of Washington where she earned a Master of Architecture degree. She said that she grew up all over the place as her dad was in the army. She points to her husband, Austin, as her strongest local support. Her off the track name is Patricia Wilhelm.