Surfing Is My Life
I started surfing for the challenge and excitement — to be able to say, “Yeah, I surf” and join in the lifestyle that I believed all surfers had. But what kept me coming back was the smell of the ocean, the sound of waves crashing against the shore, looking out on such a vast expanse of water and feeling the power of mother nature all around me.
The connection to nature and something bigger than me is what drives my appetite for all types of water sports. At the same time, water sports had a quick impact on my body and feeling healthy — I was amazed at how quickly I lost weight and felt better physically — so that kept me surfing too! For almost a decade, I have surfed everyday — it is my main form of exercise and I also use surfing and my time in the ocean for motivation, tranquility, and sanity.
I am lucky enough to have traveled the world and followed all kinds of surfing competitions. From California’s Huntington Beach (aka Surf City USA) all the way to the Gold Coast of Australia, I’ve witnessed and taken part in surf contests from all areas of the globe. Even though I’ve been touring surf locations for years, it’s persistently thrilling to experience new waters and connect to new faces of people who share in my passion for the ocean.
Banzai Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore in Hawaii is the setting of my ultimate surfing dream. Known around the world as a surfer’s mecca, Hawaii’s Banzai Pipeline is crafted for expert surfers. This area is famous for its huge swells that can tower up to 30 feet in the air and crush onto jagged coral reefs at amazing speeds.
While Pipeline is responsible for more injuries and deaths than any other surfing grounds, it’s also inventoried as one of the top 100 things to do before you die. Since I don’t fall into the category of professional surfer, I doubt Banzai Pipeline will be a wave I’ll attempt in my lifetime — but it’s still on my bucket list to visit and have the chance to watch others take on this infamous wave.
I mentioned this briefly earlier, but one thing I think people miss often is how much water sports can help with weight loss. Many of us struggle with our weight and weight loss motivation — it’s hard to get to the gym day after day! As a lover of water sports, I’ve never been a gym person. When you’re in the water, you’re usually using all of your muscles at once — all while having fun and connecting with nature. We constantly hear about the latest weight loss strategies for how to lose weight fast, but I believe it’s much simpler (and effective) to simply choose to exercise in the ocean.
Before I started surfing, I was much heavier and in much worse shape than I am today. In fact, I didn’t even enjoy going to the beach because I was embarrassed of my body. People who spend time on the coast are typically in better shape and proud to wander the sandy beaches. Let me just tell you — I was not one of them — even though I had lived near the east coast for most of my life.
Once I started surfing and then boating and water skiing and jet skiing when nearby friends offered a ride, it seemed to happen without me even trying — I suddenly felt more confident with my body. I was excited to put on a swimsuit and meet friends. I was proud of my physique. That meant I wanted to be in the water more, and my success fueled more surfing and other water sports. Today I am completely confident with my beach body, and I still don’t go to the gym.
You may think surfing and breast cancer are an unlikely match, but as a female surfer, I’m proud to know the surfing world supports all kinds of non-profit groups and organizations including those that support the fight against breast cancer. Battle for the Breasts (B4TB) is a unique surf competition created to raise money to stop the occurrence of breast cancer. This competition is especially dear to me as I recently lost a close friend to this disease.
This annual fan-based voting event includes sixteen top female surfers who are each paired with their own breast cancer center or organization. Each of the women compete for a $125,000 prize intended for genetic testing vouchers. These vouchers allow at-risk women access to critical genetic information who would not otherwise be able to get this information.
While I started surfing to be cool, today I could not be more thankful that this sport led me into a life on the water. A life where I feel good about my body and I’m part of a sport that gives back to the community. See you out on the waves!
Below are a few more intriguing stories about those involved in surfing! Damn, it makes me want to change my career…