KS has done it again. Yesterday he won the Quik Gold Pro at Kirra on the Gold Coast of Australia. His 52nd ASP event win. He beat Joel Parkinson, last year's ASP world champion, a native Aussie, at his home break, in less than optimal surf (while the final had lots of barrels, the conditions for most of the contest were terrible). In fact, he beat Mick Fanning, another local, to face Parko in the final. Ultimately, he continues to defy the odds. Some things to ponder:
- He's twice as old as many of his competitors.
- He doesn't have to prove anything to anyone anymore - he's already the winningest professional surfer and athlete in all of sports.
- Many/most in the surfing community expected him to announce this would be his last season on tour, making the season nothing more than a farewell tour.
- He has a family, friends all over the world and a business venture - all things that can and should require more of his time and energy or at least make retiring an easier decision.
- He held his own in the expression session earlier in the week, a no-holds barred, free surf where the most radical moves are called for. Think lots of aerials with, again, competitors half his age.
- He advanced to the final in crappy surf despite having the opportunity, resources and practice of surfing flawless waves at the peak of a swell all over the world.
How does he do it? How does he stay motivated? How does he stay healthy? How does he stay inspired? I don't think he uses PEDs (he says he doesn't and doesn't believe they would make anyone surf better). And while I've never seen him bleed, I'm confident he isn't a robot or software program. He is simply amazing. On top of that, he seems very humble and nice and a great ambassador to the sport and lifestyle.
I'm officially pulling for him to win his 12th world title this year and I wish him years more of competitive success and happiness. He is truly an inspiration to me and countless other surfers all over the world. Congratulations Kelly. Go get 'em in '13.
Until next time may your waves be head high and glassy.