Surfski, like any sport, requires hard work and discipline. But just as importantly, an athlete has to learn how to lose. Success doesn’t come without setbacks, as any champion will tell you. You have to keep looking forward and not let those moments define you. Once you have the physical skills to win, you need the mental fortitude to keep fighting.
One of the things that makes Molokai so challenging is that the conditions can vary so dramatically. It can be punishingly hot and flat where athletes must grinding across a mirror like ocean or the wind can blow like a tropical storm and churn the channel into a frothing mess. This year conditions were nearly perfect.
For me, the speed oriented lactic sessions have always been challenging. I love to grind and I will happily punish myself through longer threshold or tempo intervals, but when things get shorter and enter into the realm of lactic pain, I just struggle.
What a race!? The conditions were about as good as any surfski race could ask for. The wind was lined up perfectly and blowing 25 knots, the weather was mild for Maui and a merciful layer of cloud cover had rolled in to shield racers from the punishing Hawaiian sun.
With over 250 boats registered for the 2019 Maui 2 Molokai (M2M) and incredible winds predicted for the iconic 42km island crossing, the race is shaping up to be one for the record books. I have raced the M2M twice before, in 2017 and 2018. Both years I came in thinking I could win the M2M and both times I made major mistakes that kept me from having the race I wanted. My mistakes boiled down to a lack of respect.
In the last post I wrote about the NAC Classic race in southern California and how wonderful it was to race pain free after a frustrating six weeks of shoulder rehab. This post picks up seven weeks down the road, as I mull over the last block of training and look ahead to the next race on the calendar, the April 13th Maui to Molokai (M2M) in Hawaii.