Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lensing is Named Best Non-Male Beater

Over the past month, the Quidditch Post has been trying to answer the question: Who is the best quidditch player? Our judges and voters have narrowed it to six players, and we’d like to give our readers a chance to meet each of these elites. First up is Mollie Lensing of Lone Star Quidditch Club, the best non-male beater.
Photo by Lauren Carter

Quidditch Post: First off, congratulations on winning the best non-male beater bracket. It's certainly well deserved. What do you think has allowed you to succeed in quidditch?
Mollie: Thanks! Well, I definitely attribute a lot of my success to my soccer background and the fact that I joined quidditch relatively early in its growth. I've had the pleasure of seeing first-hand the growth of gameplay and strategic development, which has always helped me be a very adaptable and smart player. Also, I've been extremely lucky to have played with some truly inspiring people back in college at Texas A&M University, then on Team USA, and most recently on Lone Star Quidditch Club. Playing with such talented people has progressed my athletic development and growth in the sport to levels that I never would have imagined prior to starting quidditch.

QP: You alluded to the fact that you're a veteran of the sport; how have you seen it change since you joined?
Mollie: Haha. Where to begin? In the beginning when I started playing, it was pretty much at the competitive level of an intramural sport. It was loosely organized; people didn't practice much and played mostly because they were Harry Potter fans. Keepers rarely went past midfield unless they were on a breakaway. Beaters were seen as the weakest position, in that typically you just stuck your least athletic players there. And there was really no tackling. Obviously, all that has changed. Quidditch is at a level now that is very reminiscent to me of my club soccer years; it’s highly competitive. Practice matters, and you develop strategies for specific teams and play styles. It is still extremely fun, but it has transformed into a legitimate sport and not just a hobby.

QP: Your physical fitness was one of the (many) arguments your advocates advanced in the voting. Can you talk a bit about that aspect of your life?
Mollie: Sure. I've been an athlete most of my life but rarely did anything above and beyond team practices until I went to Aberdeen, United Kingdom last year. I started a bodybuilding program and fell in love with strength training. I started cooking healthy and getting into a workout routine that matched my goals and evolved over time. Its me against myself every time I work out, and I'm extremely driven to get better each day by lifting more weight, performing more sets, or running faster. This type of mentality overflows into the rest of my life, leading me to focus on what I can do at work or at home to be better or learn something new each day. To me, fitness can create this domino effect of nothing but good things in your life if you commit to it. Also, I love showing people that women can lift heavy weights too and that it is extremely empowering.

QP: What brought you to quidditch, and what has kept you playing after all these years?
Mollie: Eric Willroth brought me to quidditch. We were playing ultimate frisbee the summer before my sophomore year of college, and he told me I should come to the first practice and check it out. I didn't realize it was a serious thing until I saw it being played and tried it myself. I signed up to go to World Cup III at that practice and never looked back. I've stuck with it primarily because I enjoy it and because I'm still challenged at every tournament I go to by consistently facing new strategies and play styles. I love the mental challenge of piecing together how you should play a specific game, especially from a beater's perspective. Quidditch is still so young. We all have the opportunity to shape it as it matures. That excites me, and I want to continue to be a part of that.

QP: Outside of quidditch, what are some of your hobbies?
Mollie: Fitness is probably the biggest. I got into powerlifting before the regional championship, and I was really enjoying that. I still play soccer when I can. I cook a LOT. Anyone that follows me on Instagram knows I post food very often. I also love dancing. I was in a freestyle hip hop dance group in college, so you can bet I will bust a move whenever I'm out and a good song comes on.

QP: As someone who sees some of your food posts, they look amazing. How about professionally; what do you do? You mentioned being in Scotland last year.
Mollie: Thank you. Currently, I work as a Supply Chain Professional for Baker Hughes, which is an oil field services company. I'm in a three-year rotational program where I move to different facilities and through different Supply Chain functions every six months. One of those was an international rotation in Aberdeen. My work is based mostly around various projects focused on cost reduction, process improvement, and system implementation.

QP: I have to ask since you're now in your sixth season: any plans to hang up your cleats?
Mollie: Fair question. I probably only have one more season in me to be honest, but who knows. I still feel young! I plan to stay involved with quidditch for as long as I can, so most likely I see myself becoming a nonplaying coach in the future and possibly getting back into writing articles.

QP: You really have done it all in quidditch: writing, playing, video with the Quidditch Lens. Let's finish up with some rapid fire questions. Favorite color?
Mollie: Blue.

QP: Favorite season?
Mollie: Fall.

QP: Favorite artist/musician?
Mollie: Thats hard, haha.

QP: Give us a few then.
Mollie: Calvin Harris, Avicii, Lady Gaga. Oh, and Linkin Park.

QP: Favorite (non-quidditch) team and/or athlete?
Mollie: Abby Wambach.

QP: Favorite food?
Mollie: Avocado.

QP: Lucky number?
Mollie: Nine.

QP: I think that's good for now; thanks so much, Mollie, and congratulations again!
Mollie: Of course! Thank you!

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