Back to Back victories in FL and I couldn't do it without incredible support!!!

This blog is about how amazing the people are in my life!!! 

Me and my number 1 fans!!!! Love you guys so much!!!! 

Me and my number 1 fans!!!! Love you guys so much!!!! 

     The last few weeks have just flown by! Races every weekend since the official season kick off at the Carolina Cup on April 23rd. I have been lucky enough to have my 2 biggest fans present for the last two weeks in a row. My parents have supported my endeavors since day 1.  Athletic, artistic, scholastic, you name it, I probably tried it. I have never been an underachiever. Without their unconditional love and encouragement, I would not be the person that I am today. When I hear them cheering me on from the top of a bridge or riding along on the safety boat during a SUP Race, I can still hear the passion in my mother’s voice the same as it was when I was 4 years old and just learning how to kick a soccer ball, yelling from the sidelines “Get in there!” So many games, practices, rehearsals, recitals, rides, cleats, and uniforms. And now as a full grown adult, whenever possible my parents are still there in 100% support. Now that they are retired I see them in attendance and even volunteering at events more and more.

  I see and thank my parents on a regular basis as we live only 20 minutes away from each other, but I don’t think any number of thank yous will ever be equivalent to a lifetime of raising a child.  I hope I can continue to make them proud.

   Last weekend was the Orange Bowl Paddle Championships in Miami, FL. I came 1st overall female and felt really strong during the 8 mile course. Miami is only 1.5 hrs drive from Key Largo so we made a day trip of it riding up and back in my car with myself, my boyfriend Will (my 3rd biggest fan) and my two parents all packed in.  Will borrowed and paddled an OC1 next to me the entire race and even though his leg went numb in the first mile and he wasn’t even racing, he finished the entire course to show his support.

   This weekend was the Florida Cup in St Petersburg, FL, 650miles round trip from Key Largo and guess what, my not-so-trusty Taurus was not-so-up for the trip. We don’t have another car with roof racks but my boyfriend volunteered to drive me up in his car if I could get my board safely on top. We looked a little ghetto with a strap and noodle jury-rigged roof rack, but we made it safely, board and all to the race and back and the sweetest boyfriend in the whole wide world drove the whole way. My parents made the trip in their car and stayed a few extra days visiting friends, so once again I had my fan club and support crew there to cheer me on as I paddled 9 hard miles to victory.

    This was the 4th race in the Florida points series, the Fastest in Florida. There was a good turn out, but not as big as I had expected. I think people who have been following the same race schedule as I have needed a week off. Racing every weekend takes its toll on your body. (and your bank account.)  This is where I want to express gratitude for my incredible support system that comes not from my family and friends. They may not do it out of love, but their contributions are equally as invaluable.

   I work closely with a local nutritionist who keeps my diet and supplements on point when the demands are high and there is no time drops in energy or fighting illnesses. Nutrition is one of the KEY elements in my training and success and I wouldn’t be as strong and as fit as I am today without Remedys Nutrition.

 This week I had a scare when one of my ribs went out of place. I thought I might have to drop out of the race this weekend. But after only one visit with my chiropractor, I was able to paddle pain free. Not even missing a training session. Now that is incredible! Keys Mobile Chiropractic comes to my house weekly to keep my body in line for high demand, low recovery weeks like these, sometimes twice. Dr. Austin is always checking in and genuinely cares about my body’s well being and my athletic pursuits.

   Racing every weekend not only takes its toll on my body, it also gets expensive. The cost of gas and race entry fees plus constantly cancelling classes that I teach those days is like a double whammy because eventually your students stop coming. Passionately pursuing my dreams is worth every penny and fortunately for me, I have wonderful, supporting sponsors like Mistral SUP (who is sending me to Europe to race for 3 weeks in the Euro Tour!!!) And the Carbonerro/Vestpac team (who are helping with some key events in the USA) These companies show their commitment to this sport with their incredible products and through the support of their team riders. I am honored to be a part.

Sweet Waterwear and Liquid Ambition always keep me looking stylish and VMG Blades makes the best fin a board can have.

   Thank you to everyone in the world who supports someone in some way. May we all take time to be grateful every single day.  

Blessings and Gratitude, 

Seychelle 

     

Euro Tour Update Video Blog

HI Guys! Here's the full scoop in case you missed andy details in the video: ...

Guinness World Record OFFICIAL!!!  : http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/greatest-distance-by-stand-up-paddleboard-(sup)-on-flat-water-in-24-hours-(female)

SUP Racing = Awesome!

Euro Tour Schedule: Riding for Team Mistral!!!

5/21/16 St Maxime, France SUP CUP

5/28/16 Brombashee, Germany LOST MILLS

6/4/16 Bilbao, Spain BILBAO PADDLE

Wish Me Luck!

GIGANTIC Thank you to MISTRAL SUP for sending me to Europe!

And to all my sponsors for their continued support and love:

@Carbonerro Paddles 

@VestPac

@Remedys Nutrition

@Sweet Waterwear

@VMG Blades

@Keys Mobile Chiropractic

@Be Excellent Brand

 

 

 

"She was unstoppable. not because she did not have failures or doubts. but because she continued on despite them." Beau Taplin

Carolina Cup 2016 - Photo: Andy Anderson

Carolina Cup 2016 - Photo: Andy Anderson

   I just arrived home from 5 days at the 2016 West Marine Carolina Cup and I am so stoked with the entire weekend. Over 700 paddlers came together to celebrate and share and paddle our a**es off in Wrightville Beach, NC. For most of us, it is a long trek to get there. For me, a 14 hour car ride. For some, 35 hours in flight connections! But the experience is so worth the journey.

   Getting together with that many athletes, coaches, trainers, legends, and rookies is such an incredible opportunity. I love picking people’s brains and learning as much as possible about this sport and about myself at the same time. I have come so far in a short time and I still have so far to go. I have come home renewed and even more motivated to train smarter and harder.

   I left home Wednesday evening after work and drove 5 hours to Orlando, FL to meet my friend and avid OC paddler, David Rush. I stayed the night at his place and then we left early in the morning taking his (much more reliable) truck the remaining 9 hours to NC.  We arrived Thursday afternoon and I immediately launched my board off the beach and went for a paddle. The waves were big for this area, bugger than I remember them last year, and messy. I knew I was in for a rough race if that is how they were to remain. But I did my best to remain positive. They told me not to even check the weather forecast as it is always unpredictable in this area.

 Friday was a mellow day. Lots of meet and greets, but the energy is always tense before a big race.

Sure enough, Saturday morning, the wind had calmed substantially, but the swell was still rolling in nicely.

Start of the 2016 SUP Carolina Cup

Start of the 2016 SUP Carolina Cup

 I actually had a decent start. I waited for the first of the set of waves to roll through and then hopped on my board once already quite deep into the water and made it out past the next set with no tumbles. Even though I had waited, I reached the turn buoy before a lot of the women because I didn’t take any major falls.  After that it was slow going however, I managed to not fall once on the 3 mile outside leg, but my speed was terrible in order to do so. This was frustrating to me because in FL I am known as one of the paddlers with great balance who can stay on my board through some pretty hairy conditions, but I think that the difference between wind chop and swell is huge and I am just not trained in those conditions. By the time we made it to the inlet and found some flat water, the top women were long gone, and I’d wager I was somewhere in the middle.  I took off as fast as I could for the 8 mile flat water section of the course, knowing that this is where my Mistral Slipstream 12’6” x 23” (an amazing flat water board) could really shine. I am happy that I was able to gain my way back up to 8th place in order to claim a top 10 finish at one of the most competitive SUP races in the World. I can only wonder how I would have done if the entire course was on flat water…

The 1st place female finisher, Annabel Anderson, is an incredible athlete. She is not known for her warm, fuzzy smiles or pats on the back. This has given her quite the reputation, especially amongst the other women, but you know what? She doesn’t give a f*ck.  She is too busy living up to her reputation as the best female Sup athlete in the World to care what anyone else thinks. And that, to me, is admirable. I spend so much time and energy worrying what other people think. I always smile and say nice things.  But I think part of the reason why Annabel is so good is the fact that she is so ruthless. I think I stand to learn more from her attitude than her technique. Not that I would like to start being thought of as standoffish, but… take this funny story for instance.  As I was warming up before the start of Saturdays race, I looked up and Annabel was paddling right toward me. It was one of those who’s going left, who’s going right situations. She holds her ground and I lose my balance and end up falling in the water. What a dork. That moment might have decided the fate of my entire race… instability vs. intimidation. You want to be the best in the World? You need to eat dorks like me for breakfast. Who cares if she likes you or not? Stare her down so hard she falls off her board before the race has even begun…

   Anyway, Sunday was super fun. I stuck around for the Kids races and then got to join in on the OC6 races as well. We put together an unregistered girls team consisting of Annabel, Candice Appleby, (the World’s #2 ranked female) April Zilg, Kristin Thomas, Aimee Spector, and Myself. So much Fun! I loved getting to be in the boat with those girls!

   David drove the whole way to and from Orlando and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for his hospitality and chauffer skills this weekend. As well as the hospitality of team Carbonerro and VestPac for putting me up and taking care of me and making awesome paddles.  Mistral SUP for their continued support in my racing endeavors and providing an amazing board. To Remedys Nutrition for providing nutrition programing that keeps me healthy and energetic on and off the race course, Keys Mobile Chiropractic for always keeping my injuries at bay, Sweet Waterwear for compression clothing, VMG blades for excellent fins, And everyone who has helped get me where I am today. It just keeps getting better and better.

Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

Next Stop: Kew West for the Key West Classic SUP race. Yay!!!!

Desire is the key to motivation, but its determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal that will enable to to attain the success you seek...

“Desire is the key to motivation, but its determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek” - Mario Andretti

 

I’ve been focused on pretty much one thing lately. The Race season in upon us. If I look at my schedule of races for the next two months and all the places that SUP is going to take me this year, I get SUPER excited and a little overwhelmed. I am not one to let fear take over or hold me back from accomplishing my dreams, instead I choose to use it as fuel to train even harder and smarter.

 Like today for instance, One of my biggest weaknesses in this sport is surf. I grew up and live in an area of completely FLAT water. Its an incredible place to paddle. It’s warm and beautiful year round. But I will never be able to surf like some of these girls who have lived their whole life at the beach. It is a almost 2 hour drive to a beach semi-decent surf break, but it seems there is never any swell when I have the time to make the trip or its really windy. I can go months between surf sessions. Well this weekend I got a taste of what it was like to paddle surf into some pretty windy conditions and it wasn’t so bad. 

I know I desperately need to train more in the waves. So today, instead of waiting for the weather to cooperate, I decided to take the heavy winds and small craft advisory head on. I didn't have time in my schedule to drive 3 hours round trip to the beach, but I did have time to make the 45 minute trip out to the reef from my house. So, I borrowed a boat and thats just what I did. 

Me and my dog Oscar went for a bumpy boat ride out to the closest reef and picked up a mooring ball. He watched me from the bouncing boat as I maniacally paddled up and down wind over and over and over again until it started to feel more and more fluid and comfortable in the waves. I feel proud of myself that I am so determined to improve and succeed, that I gathered up the guts to hatch such a plan. And it worked. And I hope I can do it again. (Or better yet that I can find someone to go with me and drop me off and I just paddle downwind back to shore)  The waves may not have been breaking, and I may still have a long way to go, but I am closer than I was yesterday. And that is something. 

Drifting downwind behind the reef and feeling pretty darn good :)

The Shark Bite Challenge: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react.

What a weekend! I just returned from a whirlwind adventure that was intended to be yet another race in the Fastest in Florida SUP Series, The Shark Bite Challenge. 

This week, in preparation for the trip I put new front tires and new rear brakes on my 1996 Taurus wagon, which has an unknown (but well above 250,000) amount of miles on it. It was a free car and last year I wouldn't have driven it 6 hours for a race because I didn't think it would make it there, but this year, me and Scotty (my car) seem to be feeling more and more adventurous. Or maybe its that my goals this season are even more ambitious and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get myself to races. 

   I left after teaching my last class on Friday afternoon and drove pleasantly and uneventfully 5 hours to Sarasota, FL where I stayed the night with Brian and Francesca from Hovie SUP. Driving through Sarasota was pretty emotional for me. I-75 passes right next to Nathan Benderson Park, where in December of last year I paddled 110 miles in 24 hours and broke a SUP World Record. Seeing the park brought me right back to those moments of trial and triumph. I cried the last several miles tears of gratitude, joy, and pride. 

  Another interesting story about my delightful stay in Sarasota, Brian and Francesca were present at my 24 hour World record and Francesca wrote to me shortly afterwards to tell me that I had inspired her so much that she quit her job and started the company she had always wanted to create. www.swiftwearusa.com. Its moments like that when I feel the most inspired myself and humbled by the possibilities in life.

   In the morning it was chilly and windy. I drove 1.5 hrs more to the race site, where over 350 paddlers had entered in 8 different race divisions. The Shark Bite Challenge was set to be the biggest race participation I have ever seen in the state of Florida. Unfortunately it was deemed too windy by the race officials and the Coast Guard and the race was cancelled. EVERYone was BUMMed!! But, what can you do? Safety first. No one was injured or lost, and the wind had kicked up quite a little swell, (for Florida West coast) so a whole bunch of us jumped in the water any how and did some SUP surfing. 

  I ended up having a blast, catching a few nice waves and practicing my downwinding skills surrounded by dozens of my fellow SUP friends. Normally crowds at a surf break scare me away, but this was different because we were all in it together, making the best out of the day and the disappointing weather. 

   The 6 hour drive home was not too bad. No mishaps, but I did have to stop in St Pete and pick up a kayak for my parents and and somehow tie that and my board to the roof racks on my car. (I am so happy I am a sailor and tie a knot or two!) 

After I untied the ropes.  oh, and someone was happy to see me.. :)

After I untied the ropes. 

oh, and someone was happy to see me.. :)

Even though I didn't get to race, I am still ever so grateful to my sponsors for all of their support in getting me to where I am today. www.Mistral.com  

www.RemedysNutrition.com

www.Carbonerro.com

www.SweetWaterwear.com 

www.VMGblades.com

www.keysmobilechiropractic.com

 

 

  

Sunday Funday: Keys Cable, Duck Cay, and (shh..) Bridge Jumping ;)

Yesterday we decided to drive down to Grassy Key and hit up the Cable Park at Keys Cable. It had been a long time since any of us had ridden a wakeboard and sounded like a fun thing to do on a windy Sunday. I was a little nervous about my wrist and the fact that it had been so long, but I picked it up like riding a bike and was hitting jumps and doing handle passes (like the only trick I know) in no time. Super FUN! Everyone else in the group had a blast as well and then they all headed to a boozy lunch. I went to see my friend Norma Jean who lives 2 miles away on Duck Cay and we paddled through the canals and around the island of Duck Cay. It was so beautiful! I love paddling in a place I have never been before. SUP is such a great way to explore a new area. One of the many reasons that I love it. 

I met back up with my friends and we decided to go bridge jumping on the way home. Bridge jumping is a Florida Keys kids tradition. Like a right of passage for high schoolers and usually done on senior skip day and last day of school. Come to think of it, that might even be the last time that I went bridge jumping in the Keys… 

It was super fun! No, I wont tell you which bridge because its also super illegal… oops. shhh don’t tell….

500 miles and 11 hours in the car plus 8 miles and 1.5 hours paddling equals 1 awesome weekend.

500 miles and 11 hours in the car plus 8 miles and 1.5 hours paddling equals 1 awesome weekend. 

   I drive a 1996 Ford Taurus station wagon. It has over 250,000 miles on it, but I have no idea exactly how many as the odometer stopped working many years ago. The car was given to me freely almost 1 year ago. It’s what we like to call a “Keys Cruiser” – good for trotting around the keys, but don’t leave the island or your asking for trouble. Well, given that all I really want to do is SUP race all over the state of FL (and the World) I’ve taken my car “Scotty” as he’s been named for the last 20 years, on many road trips.  There is something about driving long distances alone that feels very independent to me. Like if something goes wrong, I’m going to have to sort my own shit out.  I am so happy to report that the worst that happened was I missed a rather important exit and ended up driving 45 mins out of the way. (one of those “next exit 23 miles” type deals) By the time I got off the turnpike and back on track, I was so far from the course that the woman at the tollbooth had never seen a paddleboard before. I think I could have told her it was a rocket ship and she would have believed me.  I was tired and frustrated to turn a 5hour drive into 6, but proud of myself for just laughing it off because at that point, what else can you do? There was a time in my life not too long ago that I would have been in tears of fury making a mistake like that. I am also very proud of Scotty for giving me no trouble whatsoever.

   I was put up for the night in Cocoa at one of my oldest friend’s parents’ house who I haven’t seen in like 15 years.  This brought back fond childhood memories of sleepovers, homemade slip n’ slides, snorkeling for tarpons in the canal and overdosing on chocolate milk.

  In the morning I headed to the O’neil Beach and Boards Fest SUP Challenge. An 8 mile flatwater race with lots of buoy turns to keep things spicy. The weather was perfect and the race was well organized and ran smoothly. I love turning up to these events and seeing all the smiling, familiar faces of my SUP friends and family and also meeting new ones every time as well. This was the most competitive field of paddlers in a FL SUP race that I’ve ever been to. It was the third race out of eight in the Fastest in Florida series, which seems to be drawing a bigger crowd for every race.

  I came in 1st place after a really close race with Kim Barnes. And Victoria Burgess not far behind.  I drove the 5 hours home one happy happy girl!

I want to say a huge Thank you to my sponsors: Mistral SUP for their support in getting me to these events to race and for the incredible boards that I get the privilege to ride.  To Remedys Nutrition in Key Largo for supporting my nutritional needs before, during, and after races, workouts, and even on recovery days.  To Carbonerro paddles who have been with me since day 1. Sweet Waterwear, VMG Blades,  Be Excellent Brand, CrossFit Key Largo, and Paddle the Florida Keys. Thank You Thank You Thank you. I couldn’t do this without you.  

SUP Yoga: The Need-to-Know

Here is a Short Article I wrote a few months back. I thought I would repost it as I have another article coming up very soon. :)

SUP Yoga: The Need-to-Know

The Need-to-Know for taking your Yoga practice out on the water...

What is SUP Yoga?  SUP Yoga is short for Standup Paddleboard Yoga.  It is a combination of the sport of standup paddleboarding (SUP) with the practise of yoga. When it comes to SUP, it’s all about the core. The integration of yoga postures on the board helps to challenge one’s balance while building both strength and flexibility throughout the entire body. SUP Yoga can also be deeply relaxing and most of all, it's fun! 

Here are a few things that you will need to know before trying Yoga on your SUP...

Choosing the proper board. For SUP Yoga your board should be between 10’6’’ and 12’ long and greater than 30’’ wide. The wider the board, the more stable it is. It is also important to select a board that has a large deck pad (the bumpy non-skip part) that covers at least 2/3 of the board. This will act as your mat and keep you from slipping off of the wet surface.  Some boards are even designed specifically for SUP Yoga and have options like a full deck pad or extra width.  A helpful addition to any board being used for SUP Yoga is a bungee cord across the front for storage.

You will also need: For SUP Yoga as with all types of SUP, you will need a Personal Flotation Devise (PFD) or Life Jacket with you at all times. This can be worn while paddling out to your desired practise location and then placed underneath the bungee cord for storage once you are securely anchored. Which brings me to our second necessity, an Anchor, or some way of safely securing your board in one place while you are practising Yoga. The last thing you want is to wake up from your blissful, floating savasana to find you have drifted far away from where you began. You will also need a way to securely store your paddle while you stretch. This can be underneath your bungee cord with the PFD or even velcroed to a leash and tossed off to the side.  

A few more tips: Always check the weather for any storm warnings or wind shifts before heading out for a paddle. Make sure that someone knows you are going out and when to expect you back. Know the approximate depth of the water where you will be anchoring and bring enough anchor line to reach the bottom. Be familiar with the local area, boat channels, and boat traffic. 

Enjoy the challenge! Once you are ready to begin, find a comfortable seat in the center of the board and take several deep breaths. Balance in our Yoga practise comines from the centerline of the body. Balance in our SUP Yoga practise comes from the centerline of the body staying over the centerline of the board.  Use the carry handle of the board as your guide for body placement. 

If you are new to the sport of Standup Paddle or to the practice of Yoga, I highly recommend that you take a SUP Yoga class your first few times. An experienced teacher can help you immensely in the beginning of your journey and answer many of the questions you may have. Remember most of all to Have Fun!

"Breathe and Smile" 

~Seychelle

www.SeychelleSUP.com  www.facebook.com/SeychelleSUP

Costa Rica Retreat Cancelled :( ...

CANCELLED - Costa Rica Retreat - 3/30/16 - 4/3/16 - CANCELLED

Stay Tuned -  Please contact me for inquiries about future Retreats and Trainings. :)

 

For info and bookings - www.realsurftrips.com -  

https://www.facebook.com/events/916806375078557/

STANDUP PADDLE YOGA RETREAT AND TEACHER TRAINING

STANDUP PADDLE, YOGA, SURFING, ADVENTURE, BLISS

5 DAYS AND 4 NIGHTS RETREAT IN BEAUTIFUL PLAYA AVELLANA. 2 RETREATS IN 1! LEARN HOW TO TEACH YOGA ON A STANDUP PADDLEBOARD! OR JUST COME FOR SOME RELAXATION AND FUN.

 ...

 

 

Seychelle - Athlete, Yogi, World Record Holder, Motivational Speaker....

 From Dream to Reality

   I recently created a presentation titled: From Dream to Reality: My 24 hour World Record Paddle. It is an hour-long illustrated, informative, and inspiring discussion about my journey towards achieving this goal.

   What an awarding experience it is to be about to share with the community everything I have learned over the past year while preparing for this World Record. The presentation not only covers my training, nutrition, and support over the last 11 months, but also what it is like to actually paddle non-stop for 24 hours, why in the World I would ever want to attempt such a feat, and lots of insights and wisdom that I have gained along the way to help motivate myself and as a result, others towards achieving their goals.

   I outline and break down the steps to take when working on specific goals, no matter how big or small. Strength and success are 100% mental and there is no limit to what you can accomplish when you are focused and determined.  

   It was an honor to deliver this presentation at the Ocean Reef Club in January and I would be delighted to have the opportunity to deliver it again at a club, school or group near you. Please email me for inquires. seychellesup@gmail.com

  

 

 “Breathe and Smile”