Last week we loaded up our trusty van, Bruce, to take a 4 hour trip down south to beautiful Coffs Harbour for the Billabong Oz Grom Cup surfing comp. It’s a bit like a family reunion, meeting people from all over Australia with a love of surfing and a drive for winning!
Everyone’s checking out each other’s equipment and seeing how much they’ve improved their surfing since the last comp. This one is held over 6 days, with the conditions in the surf changing hour by hour! My first heat was held in 1-3ft waves and light winds – so much fun and I won by posting one of the higher heat scores of my division. It was so much fun staying around the competition site with my friends – playing and running around.
I want to thank the Joesphsons, Bow and the Walters for letting me bunk with them during the comp… It’s been awesome seeing my friends that have a goal of being a pro surfer (I definitely do too) and watch them try and try to achieve it. That pushes me to try new things out in the water in order to move my way to the top.
Three days later and the quarter finals were held in small, choppy waves with a strong northerly wind! It was no point waiting for a good wave – you just had to take any chance you could get and hope you could make something of it…it didn’t work for me. I lost in the quarter finals.
It was such a shock and disappointment.
I had done everything I could do in preparation for this – working hard and training, staying near the competition so I could stay in the ‘zone’, not staying up late with friends, but getting up early for surfs…None of it stopped the heat from going pear-shaped for me. Was I over confident? Wrong time of day? Blame the girl who was hassling me? Blame the waves? The wind? Myself? I feel like I let people down. I feel like I let my sponsors down. I felt like I let Mum down who had taken time off and driven all this way. I feel like I let myself down…
How do you ‘shake it off’ and bounce back?
Mum took me to the place she had been staying – a community near the ocean where her friend lived in a self-sufficient, solar powered cabin in the middle of a national park. It felt like home – away from the noise and buzz of the city and competition zone, to the green peace of the rainforest. It felt like my soul was expanding again – connecting with all the other life forms that are there if we only stop to notice…
We all squeezed into the tent- top and tailing it – then woke up at dawn to walk 10 mins through the rainforest teeming with life, to reach the most beautiful, empty lineup I had ever seen. Despite the leeches, cold showers and no flushing toilet, I found out that the more simpler it gets, the more you stop and appreciate the things around you – which gave me a perfect transition into the next step from falling down… Getting back up.
Now it’s training everyday, 4-5 hours in the water building on my strengths and working on my weaknesses, finding new competition strategies, gym sessions for muscle building to boost my power in my turns and remembering to appreciate the simple things…😊