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My Life /
April 11, 2023

The Ultimate Playground

My family’s approach to life was very outdoorsy while I was growing up. My parents were both surfers and so we spent a lot of time at the beach.

Naturally, my brothers and I grew up with that love for the ocean.

My childhood was at the beach rather than the playground, which was amazing! Looking back, it was so good for me for in so many ways! I especially loved that I was constantly in awe of the beauty around me and God’s creation.

To this day, being out in the ocean is so inspiring and humbling for me. I’m often reminded of what Psalm 95:5 says:

“The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land.”

It was amazing to begin to have that perspective from a young age.

My natural love for the ocean encouraged me to start surfing pretty early on – probably when I was about 5 or maybe a little bit earlier. However, I would say that my drive for it really took off around age 8. That’s when I really got passionate about surfing! Soon I started asking my parents to take me to the beach all the time. My parents usually wanted to go to the beach also so I was able to practice all the time! (Thanks Mom and Dad!)

Before I knew it, I was dedicating more and more time to training. Competitions were a natural overflow of my skill-building. I loved competing! I won my first competition at age 8 and had my first sponsor by age 9.

So much attention was on me from the beginning because I was really surprising everyone with my scores. I didn’t really enjoy the attention – I was pretty shy at that point in my life. However, the competitions were so fun and such a good challenge that I really looked forward to each one.

I think it was the thrill, the challenge and the ultimate even-playing field that sparked my love for surfing.

Even at 8 years old, the ocean wasn’t easier on me than it was on my peers or my brothers and I loved that. It’s super humbling, but also so energizing and exciting.

At that age I loved the challenge of it, and still do to this day! I find that it challenges me in ways that other aspects of life haven’t. It’s also kind of an art form so you get to use the creative side of your brain. I really like getting my creativity flowing in that aspect.

I’m so thankful for the fun, active childhood that my parents provided for me. Growing up in Kauai was a complete dream!

Recently, it’s been even more special to provide that same type of beach-y, adventurous childhood for my kids. It’s so cool to see it now from the other side as a mom. I love watching them grow up in nature, develop a love for surfing and create sweet memories of just being a kid.

Here’s a fun video of us soakin’ up some beach time a couple years ago:

I encourage you to spend some time exploring the outdoors today too! Nature is the best playground, no matter what age you are! 🙂

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