My First Surf Contest (Tommy Tant in Flagler Beach)

Since I really started surfing about 8 years ago, it's really been my escape from triathlon and life in general.  Not that I need an escape, but there is nothing like paddling out, catching some waves, then returning to life feeling like a new born ready to take on the world.  I've never had an interest in surf competitions and I've just enjoyed having surf in my life...

...but things change.

Anyone that knows me knows how competitive I am.  I don't have to win all the time to be satisfied, I just like to compete and grow in all aspects of life.  This started with surfing at the beginning of 2017 when a couple other friends decided to set a goal to surf 100 sessions this year.  BUT, we had to decide what counted as a 'session'.  We decided on the following:

1) Must catch 3 waves
2) You cannot paddle out, catch three waves, then go back to the beach and repeat for another session.  It has to be a legitimate separate event of the day.

The first rule has been great for me.  In the past when I am not comfortable in bigger surf, sometimes I will just try to catch a wave and if it does not go well, I may just paddle in.  This rule has encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and try and catch waves that I would have not tried before.  I have still paddled out a few times this year and not been able to call it a session, but overall it has really helped me grow some balls.

The second rule has also improved my surfing.  They say if you want to get better at something, do it a lot!  The more we paddle out, the more we catch waves, the better we get.  Sometimes (generally when on vacation), we paddle out in the morning.  Then again at lunch.  And we finish the day with a sunset session.  I sleep very well these nights.

As of today, I am at 125 sessions.  I decided to step it up a notch and am shooting for 150.

Now that my surfing has improved, I've had an itch to start competing.  And while I am still not a very good surfer, I have improved immensely.  David and I decided to do the Tammy Tant Memorial surf contest this year and see where we fit in.  It consisted of a first heat that lasted 20 minutes and if you finished in the top 3, you moved onto the Finals which was another 20 minute heat the following day.  David is quite a good surfer and ended up finishing 3rd overall!  This makes him a great surf buddy for me because I'm constantly trying to get better than him (I'm REALLY far away from this).

So for my first contest, I got 5th out of 6 in the first heat so I did not go to the finals.  I was really happy to not get last place and now I have a goal to work towards.  I love to see improvement and since I'm almost at the bottom, I see a lot of moving up in my future.


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