This morning I was thinking about the awesome experiences I've had while in Cape Town. When I dig deep though my most meaningful experiences have been centered around the people I've met. Two of these people are women and they competed against each other in the South African Longboarding Championships. They are Roxy Davis and Tarryn King.
Both of these individuals have become my friends and I hold them in the highest regard.Actually, if you've ever seen them surf, especially at the same time they are like Surfing Superheroes I am still amazed every time I see them in the water and see the things they pull off. And not just in a surfboard either. Also on Stand-Up-Paddleboards. On top of all that they occasionally throw some top tip my way. Whether it is a small detail from Roxy that changes everything about my surfing to Tarryn encouraging me to "commit! She says, you must commit to get that big wave!" It is rare that you have World Class Athletes giving unsolicited advice to a novice. I consider myself very lucky. I can say that whenever I do miss a wave I think to myself that, from Tarryn, I did not "commit", or from Roxy, that I am still looking down at my foot position too long. My most unforgettable and best lesson was by Roxy. I'd been bugging her for a coaching session. Then one day, out of the blue she asks if I'm busy the next day. I planned on surfing so that's what I told her and then she asked if I wanted to meet her in the morning before the shop opened for a private lesson. Without hesitation I said I would be there. I learned so much in that one lesson. I learned that I was looking down at my foot position too long. That my paddling frequency was not fast enough to catch bigger, faster, stronger waves, as well as other tips. It was small details, not necessarily big things, but small things that made a "big" difference. To give you some perspective here, Roxy is a 7 time winner of the South African Longboarding Championship and has represented her country on the International surfing scene. How many athletes have the ability to win something 7 times! She is foremost a Mom, a wife, an entrepreneur and an incredibly humble and generous person. She started out renting beach umbrellas on Surfers Corner as a teenager. Then progressed to renting surfboards after being sponsored by Roxy S.A. She eventually opened her store, now Surf Emporium in Surfers Corner on Muizenberg Beach. She is involved with charities and sits on the Board of Shark Spotters. But do not be fooled, this woman according to her husband William, is a fierce competitor and hates to lose. Not hard to believe from a professional athlete. Then there is Tarryn King, formerly Tarryn Kyte, who married a great guy and SA Champion in his own right, Thomas King. Tarryn is a really sweet woman and an unbelievable athlete who works at XpressionOnTheBeach directly next door to Surf Emporium. She was also a student of Roxy's and learned to surf at Surf Emporium. Tarryn as well, is one of those people that you would never guess is a professional athlete from her humble and welcoming nature. She is a tremendous surfer and is now touring with the South African Surf Team and competing in the SUP World Championship in Mexico. Tarryn won the Final at the SA Longboarding Championship in which Roxy also competed. Here lies the dilemma. Both are my friends, but both cannot win. I cheered them both on, and hoped that their trip to SA Champs would be filled with camaraderie, and good times. Alas, there could be only one winner, or maybe not? If you go back to the beginning, could there be one thing, skill, behavior, or technique that was passed on by teacher to student. What if the initial experience with surfing was so awesome that inspired the student to continue and achieve great heights. Frankly, I don't know how long Tarryn was taking lessons with Roxy, but I know that in my own experiences, I have always been able to take something from every lesson in whatever topic and apply it to future skills. Talent and a lot of hard work have paid off for Tarryn to become the Champion she is. She will be a Great Champion. I congratulate her in her achievement. I feel that the Women's South African Longboarding Championship will remain on that adjoining porch on Surfer's Corner between Xpression's and Surf Emporium for a long, long time. It matters to me not which way it goes on that porch. Just keep it on the porch! And I'm also sure that Roxy can look over with a smile and be happy. What better person to win against you than a former student and friend.