At an early age I realized the ocean was my safe place, my home and my love. My life revolved around the ocean but my heart was stolen by the game of basketball. To me it was more than a game it was LIFE. Basketball gave me purpose…it gave me something to focus on and was what I wanted my life to be centered around. In high school basketball got even more intense and my love didnt waiver. I practiced everyday shooting jumpshots and doing drills at every chance I got.
Basketball had consumed my life and I put my eggs all in one basket. I joined teams that played all year round- I went to camps and worked out with the best players in my city. I got pretty dang good. I was a varsity basketball player all 4 years of HS and fell even deeper in love no matter what happened during the season win or lose.
The summer before college something happened….I found SUP. Paddleboarding was really new to me ” 2011″ but I absolutely enjoyed it and still sucked lol. It took me about a month to be super confident and have the ability to even attempt riding a wave. When I left for school I had basketball on my mind but the further I got away from the water the more distracted I got.
I ended up not making my college team…..twice. Both schools I went to were excited to have me but inside i knew I was done. I denied it for along time and when people asked I always said I was going to play another sport which I did..(football and track) but those were just not the right fit.
I was depressed for a while …I constantly thought of things that I could refocus my life around and one thing stood out…the OCEAN. I began paddling everyday while watching as much footage as I could on SUP. I truely became a student of the sport. I found my passion- my love-my midnight dream…IT FELT SO RIGHT… It was the culture the people the environment the competition that created a lifestyle for me.
(PHOTO BY SUP THE MAG- AARON BLACK-SCHMIDT)
Ive now attended over 80 events traveled to multiple states and work for the only SUP brand that matters to me. I have a garage full of boards and I can surf almost everyday…MY JOURNEY IS NO WHERE CLOSE TO BEING OVER but Ive come a long way from the cold basketball gym in WA…
As basketball season approaches I look back at aall those nights in the gym…But now my gym lights are shut off and i am motivated by the bright sunrise surf and miles and miles i am going to paddle.
If you read this far thank you and COMMENT YOUR SUP STORIES!!!