Thursday, December 17, 2009

On my way to becoming a pro kitesurfer...

A few weeks ago I got a call from Selen and she told me of her competitive swimming career, her desire to be a pro kiteboarder and the fact that when she came to UH from Turkey she gained 30 pounds and got seriously out of shape. She needed a personal trainer. Both of us will be blogging about her progress. Overweight and out of shape college student to fit kiteboarder by summer? Keep checking back to see her progress. - Koz

Whenever I think about the sports I love- windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing- and whenever I watch pro riders rip in the water, a huge surge of emotions flood my mind. I get so excited that it is almost unhealthy. I had read about this in the book called Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi. It talks about keeping the mind safe by regulating our emotions and repeatedly says that the mind of one who gets too happy or excited is not safe. I know exactly what this means from my past experiences when I used to dream of turning pro in windsurfing. I can guarantee you that it is not a good thing. Being passionate is of course a beautiful thing and can bring your dreams closer to you, but it can hurt you by disappointing you whenever something goes wrong.
Recently I took up kitesurfing and I decided that I am not going to repeat my past mistakes with windsurfing. I will not let passion, or the anxieties that come with it take me over. I will be friends with them and take small steps at a time without expecting too much from the universe. I will work on my health and fitness, and building a strong foundation for the demanding kitesurfing workouts that await me on my way to becoming a pro rider. I will also need motivation and emotional support from people who can understand me. Because when you have a big goal, it is easy to feel lonely. This is why I began looking for a personal trainer and started working with Jeff. I knew from the first time I saw his blog that he would be the right person for me. I am a very outdoorsy person, and I would rather be with Mother Nature than machines in a gym. Plus, there is a lot more oxygen on a hiking trail than an air-conditioned gym. I remember the oxygen concentration reading when I was using the gas sensor in a biology lab: 15%. What is the actual concentration? 21%.
One of the first things Jeff and I are going to work on is losing weight. I have gained quite a bit of weight since I quit swimming at 17, but it wasn’t until I moved to USA that my weight gain skyrocketed. I became one of the many victims of freshman-15, and gained about 10 more Ibs on top of that. Despite the fact that I was moving around a lot less in Istanbul than Hawaii, I didn’t gain too much weight there. Why? The answer is diet. The extremely undelicious food in the dorm cafeteria led me to fast food: one pizza after the other, or cheese quesadilla after cheese quesadilla… The hot girl with flat abs everyone once envied was gone. The situation outside the cafeteria in the dorm wasn’t too different- I was missing the Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine badly. Although this is partially my mistake- when I had a kitchen I could have learned how to cook healthy food- but also of the food market. Not being able to cook didn’t mean eating badly or gaining weight, right? And you would think a college would promote eating healthy. Not at all, not at all…
The second thing Jeff and I will work on is my joint and back problems that mainly come from windsurfing and various other mistakes such as wrong posture or too much computer work. Jeff knows that if you have a physical problem, even if your goal is to become a pro rider, you have to start taking very small steps to make sure what you do today does not hurt you even more. I feel I will be well taken care of.
I don’t think there are very many people out there who will train you outdoors for an adventure. If I were you, I would make the most of this opportunity and start thinking of an exciting adventure in nature. These islands offer so many opportunities. I feel very lucky to be working with Jeff and happy that he will be part of my crazy journey to being a pro kitesurfer. Wish me luck everyone!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!