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Surf Stoked + UNwilling to stay scared

This is my story…

There’s not a cloud in the sky above Uluwatu, Bali’s surfing mecca, as 3-5 foot perfect left-handers roll across the reef.  I’m standing up above the famed cave entrance to the surf and completely freaking out inside.  I hold back the tears as I make excuses as to why I don’t want to paddle out.

This was just over three years ago and about 6 months after I had my first daughter.  I had surfed Uluwatu many times before having a baby and enjoyed it. My strength and surfing ability had slowly recovered since giving birth.  But I realized my rehab focused far too much on the physical aspects of surfing.  Mentally, I had not recovered. Fear shook me to my core. 

My irrational fear of surfing conditions that were previously within my comfort zone was something that I just couldn’t live with.  When I returned home from Bali, I started a pragmatic process to overcome fear.  I trained in and out of the water.  I took a surf survival course and learned how to deal with critical situations in the ocean.  I examined all the potential dangers that I faced while surfing and dismissed the ones I couldn’t control and prepared for the ones I could.  I studied the psychology of fear and peak performance with my surfing in mind.  

A little over a year after standing paralyzed on the cliffs above Ulus, I returned to Indonesia.  This time we headed to the Telo Islands, just north of the Mentawais in Sumatra.  The first day we ventured to the other side of the island to surf a barreling left-hander that resembled Bingin without the crowds. Our first glance from the boat was of 4-6 foot waves breaking over a shallow reef.  I jumped off the boat, paddled to the peak and stoked into a decent sized wave.  When the lip started to throw, I grabbed my rail and pulled into the barrel.  The lip detonated on my back and drilled me to the bottom. From the boat, the wipe-out looked bad. 

But I was fine. I caught my breath, recalled everything I learned, paddled right back out and caught another wave.  I used strategies that I developed to tame my fear, to make it my bitch and get back out there.  

I’ve been surfing for most of my life, taught surf lessons as a head coach at Surf Diva in San Diego and Costa Rica for several years and am a certified surf coach in Australia,  Surfing is what I live for but my pragmatic approach to fear and improving my surf skills comes from my training back in California as a lawyer.  I’ve dissected the things that will make a major, immediate impact on your mental and physical surfing game analytically and packaged them up for you at these retreats.  

I hope that through our Waterwomen’s Workshops, your own copy of the Waterwomen’s Journal and the week of surfing we’ll have together, you’ll improve your surfing and the way you feel about yourself.  I am so stoked to share my favorite places with you and hope you have the trip of a lifetime.