World-class thrower, athlete, and MS ass-kicker
When you see Tishia Malone on the Highland Games field now, you’d never believe that at one point not too long ago she struggled to walk two blocks. The Washington native was diagnosed with MS at age 33 and it quickly became clear that the condition would be no match for Tishia’s epic determination.
Here’s a highlight reel of all Tishia accomplished in the years following her diagnosis: finished a triathlon, completed two Sea to Ski cross-country races, finished second in the Bellingham Traverse relay race, and continued being an avid rugby, basketball, softball and soccer player. No big deal.
It’s obvious that Tishia can overpower any obstacle in her path. Even when tightness in her legs made running a little too difficult, she built strength in her upper body and became a competitive stones thrower at age 49. Her results in her very first year? Third place, against women 10-20 years younger than her. Then a 2nd place in Masters shortly thereafter. Again, no big deal.
Now preparing for her 4th straight throwing championship at Enumclaw in Washington, Tishia finds new sources of inspiration every day. “When I walk onto the field in my kilt, I feel the sun, the clouds, the air, and the history of bravery before me,” she says of her Games experiences. “No matter how well I do, I respect my competitors, the organizers, and my role. Even if I’m hurting, I always do my best.”
Bravery is also a family affair for Tishia. Her stepfather is a Morrison and Tishia’s biggest fan, encouraging her to branch out at events. It’s no surprise that Tishia wears the Morrison kilt as a source of good luck. Not that she really needs it – her success in regional throwing events qualified her for Worlds for the very first time this year.
More greatness lies ahead for this limitless athlete. And she has an inspirational message for others. “We’re stronger than we think,” she says. “We all can live that strength regardless of circumstance. Just get out there and try; anything you do will only make you stronger.”
As she serves as an ambassador for the sport of throwing, encouraging more women to participate, Tishia never lets excuses get in the way of a good time. Whether it’s wearing a kilt or pushing the boundaries of a sport, there’s always room for a smile.
“Whatever you try, let it make you happy.”