As a professional PT and Nutritionist Maria came to MRD like an oasis in the desert - much needed, desperately dreamed of and almost too good to be true. Within weeks she had us crunching on our lunch breaks, squatting before 7am and running through the dark winter nights all in the name of fitness. Maria has not only become an integral asset to the dynamics of the team but has also kindly become the league’s first major sponsor. Higgiefit Lifestyles helps support, guide and educate people on all things fitness, health and nutrition. It is through her daily bootcamps, one-to-one PT sessions and nutritional plans that the team has really grown into their own.
We tracked her down (in a field at 6am on one of her 10k multi-terrain runs) to answer a few questions.
What is your derby name and number?
My derby name is Thumpalina, Thumper was an old nickname from Taekwondo. I also have a tattoo of Thumper on my shoulder. When I started Roller Derby and was thinking of the name Thumper and Whip, my teammate, suggested Thumpalina. My number is 0808, this is my wedding anniversary, I married Woody, who is our line-up manager on 08.08.98.
Which position do you play?
I am a blocker, being a personal trainer I have good core strength and this really helps when lining up in those strong walls, I also love hitting people...really hard!
When did you join Mansfield Roller Derby?
I joined Mansfield Roller Derby in summer 2014, I came to give it a go because Woody was getting involved with the team and persuaded me to come and meet everyone...I haven't looked back since. After 25+ years of Taekwondo, I felt it was time to try something new and didn't think that I would find something that I lovd as much as Taekwondo...but then I found the Misfits!
My Derby hero's are all of you guys in the league...I love watching Gotham and London play, however, seeing the dedication that the Misfits put into both their Derby training and their fitness is inspirational. It makes me work harder and want to get the guys to work harder on their fitness. I love seeing the progress that we are making as a team.
Did you play any sports before Roller Derby?
I did Taekwondo for 25+ years before Roller Derby and I was on the British team as a junior. I have competed competitively both in the UK and abroad. I am a personal trainer, sports specific coach and sports nutritionist and run Higgiefit Lifestyles Boot Camps and personal trainer. I do endurance events such as Tough Mudder and X Warrior...so my whole life is about sport and fitness!
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about getting involved in Roller Derby?
Anyone thinking about coming to Roller Derby should just give it a go… It is so much fun and there will be someone to help you and guide you every step of the way. One of the best sports in the world!