By day, she’s a network engineer for Broadwing Communications.
By night, she’s Dinah-Mite, jammer, pivot and blocker for The Hustlers, one of four teams in the Texas Rollergirls roller derby league. Strapping, blonde and fast on her wheels, Dinah-Mite cuts a fearsome figure in the team’s 1970s-themed purple satin uniform -- usually at the front of the pack.
"We're all still trying to figure out how to stop her," skater Melissa Joulwan told News 8 Austin, who named Dinah-Mite its "Athlete of the Week" last year. "And she's beautiful. She's got it all."
In between, Heather Russell is mama to twenty-month-old Mia.
During a typical week, Heather and husband Noah trade off picking up Mia from child care, playing and reading with her, bathing her, cooking for the family, walking the dogs and cleaning house. And Heather, a lifelong athlete, alternates between running at Town Lake and working out at roller derby practice at Playland in north Austin.
Heather answered our questionnaire in typical Dinah-Mite style: swiftly and straight to the point.
Who inspired you when you were growing up and why?
My mother, because she raised my sister and me on her own and made sacrifices her entire life for our benefit and well being. She is a very strong, honest, independent and caring woman who can admit when she has done wrong and has always been there for me.
You are face to face with your ten-year-old self. You have one thing to say to her about her future, what do you say?
Stay in school!
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What is the biggest challenge you see mothers faced with today?
Child care. And society itself, it just doesn't seem as safe out there as when I was growing up. There’s so much violence and animosity in the world today.
What do you see as your biggest challenge in being the kind of person you want to be?
TIME! I will always see things in myself that can be worked on or that I could try a little harder to do, making a difference with people whom I encounter. I want to leave them with something good from our meeting.
What makes you most happy about what you give back to the world?
Helping those whom I can, when I am needed.
What makes you most happy about the way you parent?
I can see the results when I look at my daughter. People are always commenting on her and her behavior and how she reacts well with people and other children. Her disposition says it all, I guess.
What two notable people would you like to see handcuffed together for a day?
Charlton Heston and Michael Moore.
What do you wish you could automatically grant, like a fairy godmother, to mothers during trying times?
Faith and hope, to know that tomorrow is another day and to believe that everything happens for a reason. It might not make sense today, but it will in the end, as hard as that might seem.
Check out the Texas Rollergirl grind action and get a Hustlers event schedule at: http://www.txrollergirls.com
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