About a month ago I had the amazing opportunity to surf at the Van’s Pipe Masters.
I was so honored to be invited! And I was so stoked to get to surf at one of the most iconic and intense surf breaks in the world with just 3 other girls out! Let’s go! Pipeline is usually insanely crowded so it can be hard to catch a wave, even if you have the skills to do so.
Alaya, my fourth child, was born less than 6 months prior to the event.
I trained as hard as I could to be back in shape in time to surf this super challenging and dangerous wave. Adam, the kids and I flew out to Oahu and started to settle in – I was feeling confident and stoked to be back in the competitive surfing scene after a break. But I would definitely be lying if I didn’t say that my heart was racing and feeling quite nervous to perform well at such a difficult competition.
I surfed my three heats (while nursing Alaya in between, of course!) and by the end of them, I felt pretty disappointed.
I didn’t catch as many waves as I hoped to. The waves kind of turned off during a good portion of two heats and in the third one, I had a bunch of wipeouts. Wiping out at Pipeline is really exhausting and actually super scary because the waves are about 20 feet high and crash directly onto a reef that is just a couple feet underwater. Getting severely injured is a very realistic possibility. I faced my fears and caught some really gnarly waves, only to take one terrible wipeout after another.
I was so disheartened. I really wanted to make it to the finals, but I was also bummed on my personal performance. I knew I could do so much better!
I cried very hard the next day. They weren’t just tears of disappointment, but tears of pain, frustration and grief. They represented all the hard things in my life that I’ve overcome and all the challenges I’ve faced. And yet, they also were mingled with joy and thankfulness for my sweet new baby Alaya, for the fact that I’m capable of competitively surfing one of the world’s most dangerous waves even after having four beautiful children, and for my God-given identity.
My identity does not come from what I achieve or how I surf. No, it comes from my amazing God who sent his Son to die on the cross for me and who loves me as his daughter. That is so freeing!
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
1 John 3:1
This reminds me of a conversation that I had with one of my good friends, Nick Vujicic. He said something to the effect of,
“think of all the things that you’ve already overcome in your life when you’re in a tough moment. Don’t allow all the immediate thoughts and fears stemming from the current moment to overtake you.”
We can expect fears and doubts to come when we’re discouraged, but when they do, we can think about the progress we’ve already made and the ways God has already blessed us.
This helps us put things in perspective. Yes, my discouragement and sorrow is real and valid – and so is yours! But also, we have a God who has already overcome the entire world and He loves us so much! Not only that, but we all have things that we have accomplished that we can be proud of!
Hold on to those encouragements if today is hard for you. 💛 I’m always cheering you on to overcome the tough thing in your life!