2016---The Voyage

Today is Jan 28. I haven't written in a while (minus the clothes post)! Since Jan 1 of this year I have been a bit more focused than usual --it isn't just a new year for me but a new journey to a certain "goal" (TBA Soon!).

And it's going to be an interesting one.

I say this for many reasons...

First, let me back up--- As many of you know, I started paddling two years ago. Before that I only surfed. And before I surfed, I was a land-locked ball athlete.

I fell in love with surfing 11 years ago, and as a natural progression because of living in flat south Florida, I stepped on a paddleboard. It would only make sense with my surfing background and because of my love of the ocean, that I mainly enjoy the experience of paddling choppy, wavy conditions. I like surf races over flat water any day. I do most of my training in the ocean, regardless of the conditions.

Because hey, if you are going to do something, you might as well do what you love to keep yourself from not making it seem like work right?

Okay fast forward a bit---I have never been much of an organized training type of athlete. As a matter of fact, growing up I played highly competitive softball and was the starting pitcher my whole career on Olympic level teams. I cannot tell you how many fights I would get in with my pitching coach because I did not practice what we were going over. "Practice" just hasn’t ever been quite my thing, and while being a 'natural' athlete is a great and all, its also not a great when you don’t like to practice, because then you feel like you don’t have to practice, when in reality you actually DO have to practice to reach an even higher level, or you wind up just staying on this "great but not the best" level, which I tend to tread around with.

So since I have gotten into SUP the last couple of years it has been a mix of sporadic training, mixed with the amazing knowledge of my awesome boyfriend/coach Roray Kam, aka "man coach", and just a background of athletics that has kept me going pretty stable and lucky enough to be able to keep up with some of the fastest gals in Florida and not having to give up my day job or too much fun with the regular life stuff.

HOWEVER, that is just about to drastically change. Since I fell in love with paddling, I have had a certain main "goal"... Of course, the first year it was out of the question. Earlier this year, I brought it up for 2015, but got shot down right away by the "man coach". Okay still not ready...

After all, it isn't just a simple "goal", it's pretty involved, physically and mentally...

So, when the man coach, Roray, started talking about it for 2016, I couldn’t do anything except smile.

Am I ready for something like that? I don't know, BUT I do know that I trust him and he must feel I have been learning something to actually feel like I am ready to face this challenge.

To top it all off, I have been asked by the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), and Sports Scientist, Dr. Jose Antonio, if they can perform a case study on my journey!

They will be regularly testing my performance and my changes throughout my training program.

By doing this we will be able to track my body composition over the time of my training up to the "goal" date by following a systematic approach to training and diet :) Science sure adds some interesting stuff when it comes to this! This includes LOTS of Protein! Which before any of this I found out I was eating enough for a 5 year old! Luckily I have increased my intake since then and already feel more energy!

I have never done any thing like this. I have never really paid any attention to any nutrition stuff. I don’t supplement. I have always wanted to try to do something organized because I feel that it will increase my level of fitness to a place I have never been and I am looking forward to the challenge that this brings and actually seeing what it feels like to push my body to its full capabilities.

So...I have about a half year or so to get myself ready, but its going to take that long to get me to where I need to be. I'm sure there are going to be some ups, and some downs. I'm sure I will be struggling a lot at times to stay on schedule. I apologize in advance for skipping days because of surf. On top of all this a few "new" changes coming ahead ;) along with the start back up of coaching my Broward County Special Olympic athletes, hosting our weekly race training on Tuesdays, and planning for our awesome RK Sunshine SUP Series, which I'm super excited for AND producing some fun SUPhine Mags to keep the stoke alive!! And of course..my day job... phew... SO! It's gonna be a fun filled, packed year! I have never been more excited!

One thing I know for sure is that I am so so so so so lucky to have been given the all the opportunities that paddling has given me so far and the best community to come along with it! Having Roray as a coach and mentor is something that no amount of time or money can match. The opportunity with ISSN and Dr. Antonio is something that I feel so lucky to be apart of. And thanks to my other sponsors that have always been there by my side, RK Ocean Gear, Coreban, Surf World and Oakley. This journey has been made much more fun (and comfortable) because of you!

Lets do this!

I believe it's not only about the end result, but also the journey to get there so I'm gonna document it :)

So here are my findings so far with my recent test:

Body fat: 17.8%

Fat Free weight: 114lbs

Body weight (close your eyes!) 139

Vo2Max: 47ml/kg/min