Skater of the Month: Patty Hearse
Patty Hearse is aggressive, fearless and often downright terrifying on the track. But despite how she may appear to her opponents, to the Silicon Valley Roller Girls Patty Hearse is a warm and thoughtful league member who is the November Skater of the Month. In fact, she was previously voted to be the Skater of the Month in April 2012 (http://svrollergirls.com/skater-of-the-month-patty-hearse) while she was learning to play roller derby. Soon thereafter, Patty made it through tryouts and was invited to join the league in July 2012. She quickly made her way onto a KillaBytes roster and has never looked back. A leader on and off the track, she’s well known by fans. At the next bout, listen for them to chant “Hearse! Hearse! Hearse!” as Patty makes her way around the track during team introductions and when she takes the line. When the action starts, you won’t want to miss her punishing opposing jammers and blockers. Congratulations, Patty!
You previously won Skater of the Month in April 2012, when you were in an SVRG Bootcamp. Tell us about that transition from Bootcamp to full skating member.
I was very excited to finally be part of the league as a skater, but I was super nervous and worried that I didn’t have what it took to be a rostered skater. I was the only one out of my bootcamp that they took as a full skating member when I transitioned. It was a lot of pressure, but the other skaters and coaches were very supportive and encouraging. Within two months of joining I rostered on the KillaBytes and have played every bout they have had since. Killas have my heart!
What is the significance of your derby name and number?
I’ve always been a fan of dark and macabre things. I grew up on sci-fi and B horror movies. Serial killers and true crime stories fascinate me. I fell in love with the kidnapping story of Patty Hearst from the 70s. So, while talking to my father about a derby name, he suggested I use her name, and it was perfect. My number, ’74, represents the year she was kidnapped. My name reached its current incarnation when my husband had the great idea to change the ‘Hearst’ to ‘Hearse’ since we own a 1965 Pontiac Hearse as our Sunday driver.
What is your primary position on the track?
I’m a blocker and I knock people around in the pack. I like being a blocker, because I’m able to make holes for my jammer and stop their jammer from scoring point at the same time. I try to be that blocker that makes your life a living hell. From what I’m told I do a pretty good job.
For me, being a blocker in a jam is like being in a riot! When the whistle blows, my heart is pumping, I’m scared, existed, nervous, calm, ready to hit, and ready to be hit. This is how it is for me on the line before every jam. I love it.
What is your greatest strength as a skater?
My aggression. I’m like the Hulk! I’ve worked really hard on controlling when and how I use it on the track. Aggression isn’t something you can teach someone to have - it comes from within, from experiences and drive. But that doesn’t mean anything if you can’t control the aggression.
What has been your worst injury?
I haven’t really had any injuries that have stopped me from coming to practice. I have been kicked in the face, and once I lost a tooth during a bout. Neither of those experiences stopped me from playing, but both had made me look a whole lot meaner. I’m not sure if that is good or bad.
Who is your biggest fan?
My husband Alex, aka Wu, but I wouldn’t say he is my biggest fan as much as I would say he was my biggest supporter. As a matter of fact, he is a big supporter of SVRG in general. He is at all the bouts (both home and away), fundraisers, and public relations events. He has emceed and has been known to help me plan events, pick up flyers, recruit sponsors, etc. He is a big fan of SVRG and wants to see us all do well.
What is the highlight of the 2013 season for you?
Wow, this is a hard question because I have so many highlights. The first would be seeing the Circuit Jerks program evolve. I coached this program for an entire year and pushed for it to be seen as an important program for the league. Watching it take off and seeing what Aim DeKill & Absolutely Scabulous have done with the Jerks in 2013 is truly amazing. Love you guys!
Another highlight is that the league recently held KillaBytes tryouts. I pushed hard for these tryouts, which will help the structure of teams for the 2014 season. I was captain for so many great skaters on the Killas that I pushed to be better on and off the track. I helped to plan one of the most successful fundraisers of the year... I could go on and on about the highlights this season, it’s ridiculous.
What are you planning for in 2014?
Ever since I joined SVRG, I have been involved with a lot of behind the scenes stuff and I am very excited to see changes as well as growth within the league. I recently ran for and won the position of Head of Human Resources for 2014 . I’m hoping to continue to be a part of that growth.
As for me, as a skater, I’m going to push my skating abilities to be the best skater I can be. Who knows, maybe I’ll throw my hat in the ring to run for Killas captain again. Whatever I do, I’m looking forward to what the new season will bring.
What do you contribute to SVRG off the track?
I’ve been the KillaBytes captain all season which involves a lot of planning, goals setting, team structure, follow up, feedback, encouragement, decisions, and roster selection. I’m not sure anyone besides the other captains know how time consuming it is! I am also part of the Merchandise Committee, and try to help out anywhere else I am needed.
You served as the Captain of the KillaBytes throughout this season. What advice would give others about being a team captain?
Do what’s right for your team as a whole, not what’s right for individuals. This will build a stronger, more cohesive team, a team that will have your back both on and off the track. Be encouraging, be patient, lead by example, and above all remember that a great captain comes from passion not position.
Anything else we should know about you?
Some may not know that I am a mother of three beautiful boys, have a husband, work at a full-time job for over 40 hours a week. Even with all that I always find time for roller derby and contribute as much as I can to SVRG. It’s an honor to be their skater of the month.
SVRG por vida!