December 1st, 2020. If you asked me a few months ago where I thought I’d be on this date, I don’t think I would have predicted being on Maui counting down the days for our first Championship Tour event at Honolua Bay. Can’t believe we are finally here! I am so excited and grateful to be competing again after such a crazy, “out of the ordinary”, unpredictable year.
My year off wasn’t what I expected it would be. I was imagining trips to some far off, distant locales, competing in the Olympics, being busy with sponsors and projects but it was none of that. It was a simple year at home with my family, catching up with old friends, surfing my favorite spots, enjoying summer swells, learning how to play tennis, taking the dogs to the beach, skateboarding the roads of Kahala, making a garden, taking long walks and naps, sipping mojitos and having random dance parties, reading, waking up late and watching way too much Netflix. I was forced to slow down and enjoy the simple gifts that I sometimes, quite often overlook when I’m always on the go. I gained perspective and new appreciation for my lifestyle and profession, for my health and especially the incredible network of family and friends that I have to make it through times like these.
This year has been a mix of emotions watching our world fall into chaos at times, torn apart by hate and anger. The stillness has brought a lot of ugly to the surface and forced us to take a look at ourselves and the world around us. There is so much divide and exclusion amongst the human race and I feel we need to make conscious changes in the way we treat one another for things to get better. The only way through is together striving for more love, empathy and understanding.
Despite the ugly, I have also witnessed a good amount of beautiful. There has been much love, kindness and compassion during these times too. I’ve watched people disconnect and reconnect, taking more time for each other and being more aware of the world around them. I have felt a shift inside me too and will try to be more consistent with this way of life moving forward.
I’ve been on Maui for a few days already. I decided to come extra early to make sure my Covid test was cleared and give myself plenty of time to get reacquainted with beautiful Kapalua and the Bay again. The waves have been small so far but this afternoon should start picking up. The first big swell of the season is hyped to hit tomorrow! As usual, I have some pre-contest nerves (they never go away) but overall ridiculously excited to be back in a jersey in just a few days time.
My goal for this event, more important than a result, is to surf from a place of joy and gratitude. I’m sitting in our condo with a view overlooking the gorgeous Kapalua golf course, onwards towards the ocean, Molokai and Lanai clear in the distance, the air is quiet, not a breath of wind out of place, the sun is beaming strong and bright. It is just an absolutely breathtaking day and I feel so blessed to be alive. From putting on my jersey again, to feeling the cool water on my skin, to the nerves, excitement, walking down the cliff, riding waves, hearing the horn blow, seeing all the girls again, I’m gonna soak it all in. If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that anything can happen so be present, be grateful for every moment and be joyful.
Hope wherever you are in the world you are doing well, staying safe, happy and healthy. Sending lots of love your way,