What is the first thing, you´re thinking about when you hear the word “Surfer” ?
Most of the people have the picture of a fearless, super tanned person in their mind, packed with muscles or wearing a super tiny little bikini. Surfing waves, high like small apartment blocks. Body´s are painted with tattoos and all of them are living on the edge.
But is this real or is it more the picture the Surf industry manifested in our head.
Today I read a post on Instagram from Victoria Vergara, a french surfergirl which is part of the famous Reef Girls Team. I think everybody knows what kind of girl I´am talking about. Modelmeasures and always on the sunny side of life. But today, as I already said, there was this post, and it made me reflecting my own situations in the saltwater.
Because she was talking about her fears. Fears of a Surfer? Yes!
A rare statement in this fearless and flawless world of surfing.
That is what Victoria posted today:
I still can’t believe I went swimming with sharks this morning.. Since everything that happened in Reunion, they became my biggest fear. There isn’t one moment I’m not thinking about them when I’m in the ocean. I’m still doing nightmares and it’s kinda difficult for me to speak about the friends I’ve lost in a shark attack or even how tough is the situation at home.. to be honest, I went through all the different feelings between, the scared and excitement since I knew I’ll have to do this. I told my family and friends that I won’t have the strength to do something like that.. But even if I was shaking and cried and had to hold my friend hands the first minutes in the water this morning, I conquered my fear. I swam with an open mind and had to live the craziest and unique adventure. Someone told me that I will become stronger and I won’t regret it and he was right.. I’ll never forget this moment as we will never forget you Alex, Elio, Mathieu.. ❤️
And I don’t want to talk about sharks. Anyway it´s an endless story, and yes it makes me freak out when I see a shadow underneath me while surfing. My thoughts are more about how people deal with fears and how it has been communicated. Fears are non-existent and don´t fit to a the rather male dominated and competition driven surf industry.
The fear about the deep water, what can spit out sharks, jelly fishes, stingrays, snakes, saltwater crocs and who knows what else.
The fear about high waves, that will maybe grab you and throw you arround like a shirt in the washing machine.
The fear about crowds, to get in trouble with locals or just get run over and get drowned in the water.
Do you remember that freaking moment while Mick Fanning was attacked by a Great White in South Africa. Afterwards he said with tears in his eyes, he doesn’t know if he will ever surf again. He had a more than one guardian angel.
The media is not talking about fears or the many uneasy situations in the water.
But luckily happiness is stronger than fears
See ya in the water!!!