To be honest... I don't really know what to write about this past week. The waves have been ridiculously small and frustrating. On the bright side, it's been great practice for the US Open. I've been doing more of the same trying to keep myself busy. Training, spending time with the fam bam, catching up with friends, working at Banan, and I finally finished Luke's ring! It turned out beautiful!!
With the next contest right around the corner, I've been doing some reflecting on the first half of my year and where I want go from here. Things have gone far from according to plan. I'm eighth in the world right now. I don't like that number. Especially by my name. I'm not okay with it. Losing sucks. No matter how I much I try to look at the bright side, learn from my mistakes, tell myself that everything happens for a reason, losing always hurts like heck because I care so much and I expect a lot from myself.
My results this year have forced me to change my perspective a bit. My happiness has always been so dependent on a result and my self worth dictated by a number. The hardest lesson I'm learning is that despite the contest results, I'm still the same person and surfer, my life's still just as awesome, and my true friends and family still love me no matter what. It's been really validating to see that although I'm having my worst competitive season ever, all the people I love are still there supporting me every step of the way.
Everyone can tell you how talented you are, that you got this but it doesn't mean anything until you believe it yourself. I am a perfectionist so making mistakes is really hard for me to cope with. Instead of taking it as a grain of salt, I usually make it a way bigger deal than it needs to be. I beat myself up, tell myself I'm a failure, I'm not good enough. It's a downward spiral from there. I start comparing myself to my competition and self confidence goes out the window. When I tighten up and start second guessing and doubting my decisions, I stop performing to my ability. Competing stops being fun when you stop believing in yourself.
The most satisfying moments this year have been free surfing. Getting barreled at Fiji or landing a big air at home. Surfing good waves, challenging myself, learning and progressing. It's tough because people only see such a small part of what's going on and make assumptions based on that. I feel like I am surfing better than ever but it's complicated. I don't have an answer. I wish I did.
It's hard for me to write about this stuff. I don't know who is going to read this. My competitors? My friends? My enemies? People that love me? People that can't stand me? People in the industry? People outside? It's honest and real and completely vulnerable. I don't know what anyone is going to think. This is my greatest strength. The ability to look within, realize I have faults and want to work on them.
Moving forward I'm extremely excited for the next five months. The time off was awesome. I got to completely check out of competition and just enjoy being at home. I'm looking forward to traveling again and putting on a jersey with a bit of a new perspective and refreshed outlook on the whole thing. I just want to take it event by event, heat by heat, wave by wave and go into every moment believing in myself. I spent the first half of the year tearing myself down. I want to start building myself back up.