Wow... It’s been awhile since I last shared a page from my journal, hasn’t it? I have struggled to quiet my mind and put my thoughts into words. I’ve been constantly on the go both physically and mentally since the start of the tour. I’m currently on a plane to Rio. With not much room to move, I finally am forced to sit still for a moment and reminisce on everything that’s happened over the past month.
The Margaret River Pro was cancelled because the sharks became a concern. I was pretty bummed when it was called off. Such a build up of emotions and then an anti climactic finish. We all just packed up and went home. I thought for sure the contest would resume with a few more skis in the water and some more safety protocol in place. It was a tricky situation and I think it was handled as best as possible. A whale carcass was floating around and exciting the sharks just up the coast from the contest. There were two attacks in one day! Extremely rare and very alarming. Way better to be safe than sorry.
I really enjoyed my time in West Oz as always. The Sheridan’s are like family to me and always make me feel welcome. Luke flew back to spend a few days with me and love me up. Margaret River is one of our favorite stops on tour together. There aren’t many distractions and it’s very romantic. Great wineries, gorgeous sunsets... In 2015, we hid a message in a bottle in the dunes behind The Box (walking distance from where the contest is held). We went in search for it this year and somehow found it!! I couldn’t believe it. The whole scene had changed but Luke was determined. Our letter was in perfect condition! After our discovery, we thought it might be cool to start hiding a treasure or a note or something in a few special places around the world and create a map for our kids to find one day!!
One of the highlights of the trip was spending a day with the Hawaiians: Keanu and Zeke and their awesome partners. We all went out to a nice winery lunch, then we found a giant maze and had a water gun fight. Lots of laughs and little kid fun. We ended the day playing cards, eating pizza and drinking wine. It was cherry! <A saying in Hawaii that means it was all time!
I got to spend five days at home. Not long enough but more than expected so I was psyched. The jet lag was bad so I pretty much slept the whole time. Tried my best to fit in as much family time as I could and get a little bit of my tan back before heading off again.
Next was wavepool training, camping trip in Yosemite and the Founder’s Cup in California. We borrowed the Kenworthy’s 22ft motorhome and road tripped north to Lemoore. After the first full day of training in the pool, I was completely exhausted and my body was hurting. The second day I pushed myself a little too much and ended up straining my hamstring. Urgh!!!! Great learning lesson for me to pace myself and listen to my body.
We continued north to Yosemite National Park where we spent a few days camping, hiking and resting. The waterfalls were the biggest I have ever seen! The air was fresh and it was so peaceful. Well it was after our family meltdown. Haha! Four people in such a tight space... it was bound to happen. Luckily we started with the worst and it could only get better from there. We made some great memories jumping in the bone chilling stream together, playing cards at night and bonding over the warm fire and sweet s’mores.
The Founder’s Cup was so much fun. The best part was being part of a team and cheering for my peers! Surfing can sometimes feel like such a lonely and selfish sport at times so it was a nice change of pace working together. America had a great team: John John Florence, Kelly Slater, Kolohe Andino, Lakey Peterson and myself. Our first two qualifying rounds were super strong and took us into the lead for finals day.
There were five thousand people at the event. It was crazy!! They were lined up along the whole length of the pool. One of the coolest parts of the whole event was riding the ski back after I completed my run and waving to all the fans. It was electrifying! I felt so much love and positivity.
We ended up finishing in third. World took the win and Brazil with second. We were behind going into our last heat with Kelly and he almost got the score needed to tie us for first and have a surf off. It was super exciting! I knew if anyone could do it, Kelly could. I mean he did make the wave.
Really enjoyed having my sister around for the past week. I sure have missed her while she’s been at school kicking some serious butt this semester. She’s been working as an event planner for Pepperdine, creating her own art (stay tuned for an art show this summer!), surfing for the school surf team, and has a great boyfriend. I’m really proud of her. Seeing the way she supported me unconditionally this weekend warmed my heart and made me realize how lucky I am to have a few people like that in my life. I have to honestly say, if roles were reversed and I had to spend nine hours being there for someone else, it would take some effort for me. Feeling really loved and blessed.