Monday, March 10, 2014

Confessions of Watertribe SUP paddler-JustSurf

Overwhelming appreciation not only to the Watertribe competitors that I met out on the water but also to Paula, Dana, Chief, and all the other volunteers and general supporters of this amazing event.  People kept telling me they thought I was crazy for doing this on a SUP but all I can say is right back at you, I don’t think it is any different whatever craft you choose to use. 

It’s not about being crazy, it’s about being part of an amazing adventure and experience. It’s something few others get a chance to do.  I have to admit that prior to the start I had no idea how far I would be able to go despite preparing and speaking to Shane (Perrin) who had completed the course last year. 

Many thanks also to Stripbuilder and JoeWildlife for their words of wisdom.  My longest training run, prior to this race, was 14.5 miles. Once I got to Check Point 1, I knew I had it in me.  I just had to watch the weather carefully.  I was surrounded by some amazing paddlers and for that I am grateful.  The natural beauty was amazing and each day my list of sightings grew: sharks, rays, manatee, turtles, wading birds, shore birds, white pelicans, fish, crocodile, the list goes on.  Wow, what an event.  

I set out on this adventure to raise money for Surfers Healing- Folly Beach chapter [link below], a group that provides a day camp for children with autism, taking them surfing and allowing them to experience the freedom of the ocean.

Two weeks before the start of the race I found out my sister had stage II breast cancer and I continued my fundraising but decided to dedicate the race to my sister Nikki.  While I was doing the race my sister found out she now has stage IV cancer.  I realize what I went through out on the water is probably a small sample of what challenges she will now face. Have strength Nik, you are stronger than you realize. We all are.

This ones for you Nik- I love you!

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