Cierra Theriac "Waves of Courage" Champ Shares Her thoughts

Cie has sent her thoughts in about the "Waves of Courage" Competition, I thought you would enjoy reading the thoughts of the first Opensim Surf Competion Winner, WTG Cie xx

"My thoughts on the Waves of Courage competition… hmmm… so many different things go through my head.

I have to mention my thoughts leading up to the competition first. I approached VH with mild curiosity. It was kind of, Meh, I had SL what did I need another virtual world for? But then Mari mentioned surfing and I had to go check it out.  So I went and looked.  I couldn't really form an opinion at that point because there weren't any rezzers or loaner boards. And I wasn't ready to invest any money into VH yet. Since I couldn't try it out, I didn't know what surfing was like at that point. Then I read Mari's article in SW that the competitors would be given boards to practice on and keep. My ears perked up on that one. A free board??? Hard to turn that incentive down. 

I went back to VH to look again. I ran into Mari. She asked if I was going to compete and I said I was thinking about it. Next thing I knew, she was giving me a board, a kini and a rashie. Guess I was going to compete then.

I didn't have a lot of time to practice. I went into VH every couple of days about 2 weeks before the comp. I would surf for about 15-20 minutes before starting to scream, "I hate this board! I hate this wave!" NO ONE SHOULD TAKE THIS PERSONALLY AT ALL. I hate every new wave (and some of the old ones if I haven't been on them in a while) and every new board. And screaming and bitching about it is par for the course for me. Then I settle into the challenge of learning their nuances and what works and what doesn't. You should have heard me leading up to the HP5 comp in SL. It was ugly. LOL. But generally by the time the comp rolls around I am fine.

Unfortunately my practices were terrible. In each session I might make it to the beach once. Every other time, it was up and over! And frankly I expected the same thing to happen during the comp.

The day of the competition I was as nervous as I am before every comp, even though there were only 4 of us competing and a small group of spectators. I just was hoping not to embarrass myself too much and have at least one good run.  But seeing all those familiar faces made me feel a lot better and calmer. And all the usual encouragement and camaraderie that I have ever experienced in a surfing competition before was going strong here too.

On every wave I was talking myself through it, remembering Mari's pearls of wisdom. Start low on the wave, head away from the wave first, then weave. So I tried to be patient and wait for the wave to come to me. Not to stand up until I actually was touching the wave (even though Flynn was shouting in my ear GO, GO, GO!). Then it was "stay low," "go left, " "go right", "ack, too far," "left, left, left, " "ack, don't surf off the wave," "move, move, move, don't just stand there, you look stupid," "oh god, TURN, go down the wave," "DOWN, DOWN, DOWN," "crap, do a trick," well, you get the idea.

And don't ask me how it happened, but every wave I surfed into shore. Well, except the party waves, but we won't talk about those.

I felt the same adrenaline rush that I get while surfing in any competition.  Having all those wonderful, friendly, supportive people around made it so enjoyable. Yes, I won. But that wasn't the best part. (Okay, that was pretty exciting.) But honestly it was the people. That was the best part. In any world, VH, SL, RL - it is the company you keep that makes life enjoyable.

I couldn't have asked for a better group of fellow surfers - Colleen, Kako, and Melina - to be with. We had the best judges - Bobbi and Sally. Of course a wonderful EC - Mari. The wave and board inventor being our marshal - Kayaker - fit in so well. And those that just came to hang out, watch, and encourage - Flynn, Mick, Zadi, Eireen, Tiffany, logger, geez who did I miss? We just partied the whole time and had a blast!"


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