People always say, "Go with your gut." In 2012, Suzanne Yeo’s gut told her to become involved in SUP cancer associations. One year later she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through groups like Stand Up for the Cure and Susan G Komen breast cancer foundation, she found the help and support she needed to go through chemotherapy and now, in her recovery. All thanks to her subconscious.
Tell me about your first SUP experience & what made you fall in love with it?
2009 was my first experience at 49 years old. One of my son’s friends knew I wanted to get out and paddle on the water; I was imagining prone paddling. He ended up surprising me with a (SUP). I had never seen or heard of the sport but I was immediately hooked. I had already been working at Yogaworks for a couple of years, and soon enough SUP yoga came into play.
What was your lifestyle pre-cancer?
Active. Very active. I was teaching 20 fitness classes per week. I grew up an athlete and my body had never let me down before. I knew something was wrong when I was constantly tired; I couldn't keep up with the demands of my classes or the SUP yoga experiments with Noel Kozak.
Stand Up for a Cure has become a worldwide event over the past couple of years, how did you become involved in such a great association?
I met Judie Vivian (founder of Stand Up for the Cure) at her inaugural event in May 2012 and after seeing what the event was like I demanded to be apart of it. I was planning on being involved and then shortly after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I think I subconsciously knew I was sick all along and that's why I was so adamant about participating. May 2014 was the first time I was actually able to participate in the event.
What other cancer organizations are you a part of?
We Are Ocean, Paddle2Live and Pipeline to a Cure. I was invited to be involved in We Are Ocean and it's five-day cancer patient and survivor camp in Catalina.
Has being involved in SUP cancer organizations helped you during your recovery?
Having met so many amazing people in my life, I have had support from the get-go and continue to have support every single day.
Why do you call this stage in your life "reinventing myself"?
I have an urgency to give back so I'm currently working towards getting my Cancer Exercise Specialists certification through the Cancer Exercise Training Institute to help patients and survivors like myself to find different ways they can use their bodies and range of motions even with the cancer bones/body.
What's the next phase of this "reinvented life"?
I have a lot of SUP yoga in the near future. I will be teaching SUP yoga classes this summer at SUPlove Beach Club along with some workshops there through YogaWorks. I will also be teaching SUP yoga at the Mongoose Cup in Dana Point and teaching at Standup For the Cure in May. I am trying to make the most of everyday because you never know...