A perennial Team USA Eagle, Phaidra Knight is one of the most recognized names in women’s rugby. Her home club is the New York Rugby Club. Today, she chats with NYRC teammate & Team USA star, Carrie Dubray – a personal favorite of RWU.
PK: Carrie “Bushay” DuBray, thanks for making time for me today.
Carrie: No problem PK.
PK: Running any marathons this month?
Carrie: Nothing this month, but I do have a few more planned.
PK: Speaking of… What was your last race?
Carrie: My last race was Jan 8th, the Disney Marathon.
PK: Hmm, you certainly are one with few words…
Carrie: [Crickets chirping]
PK: You have a very inspirational story about a total life change. Tell us about your dramatic weight loss.
Carrie: Honestly I did not realize how unfit I was, although I was able to do everything that I wanted to do, but I am a better athlete now that I am lighter. I devoted a great deal of time to exercising and eating differently. I changed my diet and started eating more and that was the beginning of the end of that unhealthy life for me. I have gained so much more use out of my body and I am so much more confident now. It’s amazing.
PK: And what role did rugby play in this incredible loss?
Carrie: Rugby was the jump start to this journey. I knew that I wanted to try to play at the international level, and I did what I thought was necessary to make that happen. It all started with relocating to the NYC area and the New York Rugby Club back in the fall of 2005. I was able to surround myself with an amazing team with a structure that could support everything that I wanted to be able to accomplish. And be your teammate.
PK: That was good for all of us! Changing gears, how are things at JetBlue? Have you negotiated that awesome sponsorship deal for the US Team to get their own Jet Blue plane for all domestic team travel?
Carrie: Things with JetBlue are great, been there for 6 years and it has been a company that has allowed me the flexibility that I needed to be able to train and travel to play rugby. No plane yet for the national team, but maybe someday we can negotiate that. The difficulty is that the athletes come from all over the US and we are not currently located in one city. But with all the developments of residency, maybe that will change in the future
PK: What is your title there? What do you do with Play Rugby USA?
Carrie: With JetBlue…Operations Coordinator, but started out as ground operations, loading and unloading the planes, as my poor man’s gym? With Play Rugby USA…I am a mentor or coach, working with a variety of age groups teaching them about rugby and ultimately playing in tournaments.
PK: So, just curious. When you really need a pre-marathon workout, have you ever hooked a harness up to your largest plane and pulled it up and down the runway on low travel days? If so, next time you do so, I would love to join you.
Carrie: Well I would love to do that, and actually there is an event each year, I just have to find my way onto a team, I will be sure to let you know when I do, and we can do the event together
PK: Yes! I am soooo in -and we will win! Okay, back to rugby. When did you become a member of the Team USA?
Carrie: My first senior event was March 2006.
PK: What was the USA experience like for you?
Carrie: For me, playing for the USA was a dream come true; realizing that all the training and sacrifice had finally paid off and that I didn’t give up. You may know that I was a track and field thrower prior to playing rugby, and was a hopeful to compete in the Olympics. When I didn’t make the qualifier, I looked for a replacement and turned to playing rugby. Rugby is far more than a replacement however!
PK: What are three bits of advice you would give young aspiring Eagles?
Carrie: Never give up on something you are truly passionate about. Don’t let anyone else determine what you want to do. Surround yourself with people who are going to be supporting of your dreams.
PK: Bushay, this conversation is far from over. Our next talk will be over video so get your best pearl earrings ready and gloss up those lips! Thanks for sharing your story with the rugby world today. More to come!
Carrie: No problem. I already have the pearls laid out and the lip gloss applied. Can’t wait!