• The Vanilla Gorilla

What are Seconds?

You win some, you lose some.

Actually, I don't win a whole lot of bigger events. And that's OK. I'm just not winning yet. I didn't pick an easy sport, moreover, being at the top of your game in any sport isn't easy. The higher you climb, the harder the breakthroughs become. All of the smaller components that make marginal gains start culminating... and no matter how small the task, it seems to matter. You start becoming very specialized. Which brings up a very deep question that I have to ask myself.. that anyone must ask themselves as they become more and more specialized.

Do I want to limit myself and my other activities, and go all-in on something? For SUP racing, this would likely mean spending less time in an OC1 and an OC6. While a little bit could help, too much could take away from valuable Stand Up Paddling time. Then what about trail running? Surfing? Mountain biking? Crossfit? Weight Lifting?

You can see my dilemma. It would be fine if I only had one extra hobby ;-) At the end of the day, I love to be outside whatever the activity entails. Although paddling is my favorite, especially when there's waves or bumps to ride. Every SECOND I spend being a well rounded human, I'm taking SECONDS away from finishing times in stand up paddle races. I respect all of the men and women who make their way to the top in any sport - it takes A LOT OF SACRIFICE!


Seconds are what separated the top 6 women in the Thames distance race at the first APP World Tour stop in London.

Seconds separated the sprints.

I was SECOND at the Carolina Pro-Am

SECOND at the Carolina Cup

Second at the Salt Life Riverfest, and APP London.... you get the picture.


I'm second by seconds. (well, minutes at the Cup but that's a long story!) To close the gap and be first by seconds, it will take a lot of sacrifice and dedication. But, I can honestly reflect on all of these events and say I'm happy (not thrilled) with my accumulation of seconds. I'm the only professional athlete that strung together a SUP surf competition, a half-marathon distance SUP race, and a whitewater SUP race and was able to maintain top finishes in all 3. I would like to consider myself a very well-rounded athlete.


Unfortunately the world of marketing and sports dollars seems to love those top-of-the-podium dedicated individuals. Not the well rounded, multi-sport lifestyle athlete.


I don't know where I'm going with this anymore. Rant over.

Anyone who follows money instead of passion won't be around long...

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