How did you first get involved with the Carolina Rollergirls?
Sue: The CRG Facebook page avatar had popped up on my Facebook page on New Year’s Day of this year and I decided to click on it and it led me to the website. Tryouts were on January 9th and it seemed like something I would be interested in. Not having been on quad skates since the early ’80’s, I decided to start simple and see if I could still skate. I could (yay!) and the rest is history.
Photo by Joshua Craig
What is your sports background?
Sue: hmmmm…I started ice skating as soon as I could walk. Played pick up ice hockey until I was in my teens. I am an advanced skier, a pretty accomplished snowboarder, a decent mountain biker. I have been told that I suck at all sports that require a ball, but I did play Division III soccer (all four years) and I could probably be a decent golfer if it didn’t bore me to tears. Fun factoid – my nose was broke playing baseball when I was five. I was the quintessential tomboy.
You certainly have quite the athletic background! Has roller derby presented any new training challenges to you as an athlete, or do you feel your background made you a natural fit for the sport?
Sue: My background was/is definitely an asset because my sports of choice require balance and a certain amount of fearlessness. I think the major challenge for everyone entering the sport is that it is very much a thinking game. Gone are the days where you just needed to be able to knock other ladies to the ground. Other than that, the challenges are what we all face – convincing our brains that we can physically do what we are asking our bodies to do.
Who in your life has offered you the most support in joining the league?
Sue: Andrea has been my biggest fan and has traveled with me everywhere the team goes. I am very lucky.
Where have been your favorite destinations to travel with the team?
Sue: I haven’t traveled much yet so it is hard to say. Everywhere is fun if you are hanging with your crew. For reals.
Photo by Joshua Craig
What keeps you busy outside of roller derby?
Sue: Work, the menagerie of pets, the other non-profit in my life (Trips for Kids – Triangle).
Tell me more about your involvement in Trips for Kids – Triangle.
Sue: Andrea started TFKT in February 2008 as an alternative to the punishments that are typically doled out at school. The kids, in lieu of being suspended, are told they are losing their Saturday mornings. We pick them up and take them mountain biking and they love it. That’s the hook – once they have been on a ride, they want to go again, but now they have to earn it by behaving or doing better in school. I am the uber-volunteer.
It sounds like you’ve struck on the key ingredient for any athlete – motivation. What motivates you to push yourself 100% every time you are on the track?
Sue: I have been pretty motivated in life in general and if I love something, I will give it my all. I set goals that I want to achieve in this sport and that keeps me focused. Showing the world that a woman of my age can still hang with the youngins’ probably is a motivating factor as well.
Clearly, since you joined the league in January and were a part of the All-Star team representing CRG at Eastern Regionals this year! Have you made any personal sacrifices in order to accomplish so much in your rookie year?
Sue: Sure. Everything you hear about derby is true – it is highly rewarding but often at a cost. I don’t see my friends from my previous life very often and I am certain that my pets are really miffed at me. I am very fortunate that my relationship with my partner has evolved with derby. Chaos and clutter are a regular part of my days like it or not.
Sue Yu has represented the Carolina All-Stars as a bench coach and skater throughout this year, and will be joining the All-Stars as they take on the Cape Fear Roller Girls this Saturday, November 13th in Wilmington. Make sure you get your tickets in advance to see Sue and the rest of the Carolina Rollergirls in action at our final bout of the season next Saturday, November 20th, at Dorton arena. It’s our charity bout, so if you don’t come support the team, you’re basically taking food away from children. Look for details on how you can help Inter-Faith Food Shuttle at our charity bout soon!
Contributed by Kelly Marie Hurd