Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Skater of the Month: Suga Burn

This month we're going to start a new feature on the blog to help you all get to know our players a little better! To start off, we're featuring one of the Pair O' Dice City Rollers' co-captains: 

Skater name: Suga Burn

Number: 250

Story behind the name: Derby related injury - I got a huge 2nd-degree burn on my arm making mexican chocolate marshmallows for the ref room. The number is the point where sugar reaches the "hard ball" stage in candymaking. I am actually not into derby names that much, but people who use their real names tend to be...more "gooder" than I am.  Also I have a last name that no one can pronounce.

Hometown: Timber Ridge, VA, basically a sheep farm by the side of the highway

Derby experience: Three years on skates, this is my second season playing.  I was briefly a ref which was an unmitigated disaster.

Sports background: My dad was a runner and babysat by bringing us along to his track workouts. Through high school I was pretty active, but avoided organized sports because I sucked at them and in the south that is a Big Deal.  In college I did club rugby, ultimate frisbee, karate, and got kicked off the rowing team for not passing the swim test.  Post-college I got into ultrarunning and long course triathlon.   

Why derby:  I am pretty sure that originally I wandered in because summer ultimate had ended for the year and I was bored and looking for something to do during the winter, and honestly after almost 10 years in the same co-ed sports league the drama had built up.  I have no idea why I stuck with it, to be honest, except that it was the winter - the league was new and had no organized fresh meat process and picking up the skills was wicked hard for me.  Glad I did though - the game is very mental and always challenging, as I put it “no matter how good you are, you will always find a way to hilariously suck.”  Plus, roller skating turns out to be sort of fun (because the last time I skated pre-derby I broke my ankle so bad I needed 3 surgeries which was not fun).

Derby style: Calm, composed, and rules-minded blocker in bouts.  Shenanijammer extraordinaire, who often comes close to fouling out in scrimmage.  If the refs don’t have homework after a scrimmage, I failed miserably.

Photo by Eric Wallis Photography
Why Pair O' Dice: I came to POD after I had gone inactive for a while after my first season.  I really love that the entire league is one team and everyone is treated equally and empowered. I also love that derby is treated as a sport, not a part-time job.  It was time for me to feed other parts of my life and I am really happy with the balance.

Derby goals: Inspire a WFTDA clarification or rules rewrite ala No Big Deal (will become a jammer if necessary to do so).  I also really want to get involved with Fresh Meat and Scrimmage 101 training.  With the right sequence of training I know that skaters have more fun and become more well-rounded and empowered.

Favorite players: Lil Paine and Artoo Detonate from Boston.  I also adore Chantilly Mace from Bay Area because she full on nopetopuses out (legally) when she is just over a jam.  Crawling through the pack?  Getting hit out and just standing there, refusing to go back? Yep. In an alternate universe where I was an elite jammer, that would SO be me.
Photo by Danielle "Daneurysm" Millea

Gear: Suede and croco leather Riedell 965s with custom plates, Zombie 98a wheels (still not hard enough), 187 knee pads, Scabs elbow and gaskets, Triple 8 wrist guards, S-1 helmet, Crazy Bounce toestops, and 2.4 sisu mouthguard.  Smartwool socks, capris, and lots of bandanas.

Outside of derby:  I have degrees in geological and geotechnical engineering from Columbia and MIT.  I recently hit that point in my career where I am expected to manage, not do, and it forced a re-evaluation of my priorities.  Currently launching a brand new career in social entrepreneurship. This spring I applied for and was selected for the Education Pioneers Data Analyst Fellowship; I am currently in the placement process for it which is both exciting and frustrating on a daily basis.  I also make candy, grow things, make objects, and like riding my bike and such outside.  Also always have a freelance gig cause/economy - gotta diversify.

Things I have learned about derby:  There are at least 6 ways to do a transition and one of them will make sense to everyone.  Fishnets don’t work once you start wearing gaskets.  When it stops being fun, take a break. Interskate 91 South is all-request on Wednesday nights and they play video (I request Marky Mark and Salt ‘n Pepa every time). NSOs always have cookies.

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