PHOTOS

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Terri Plunkett – Stand Up Paddle Athlete

I grew up on the Southern Coast of California watching the coolest, cutest and talented surfer boys. I was just a girl watching, admiring and wishing that were I out in the ocean. I had no roll models to guide me into the sea. I always felt the pull calling me to the waters edge. I did the “girl” thing for years, just sitting on the sidelines. This behavior over many years caused me to be extremely overweight. At the age of 21, I had enough and made a pivotal change in my eating and my exercise habits. I lost 80 lbs that year.

Exercise was critical to keep the weight off and found that I was quite good at many of the martial arts. Competitive Muay Thai Boxing was a favorite. I competed and trained for 8 years. In May of 2010 was the last time I entered the ring. It was my birthday. I had a moment that day, banging on a heavy bag, where I saw my future and my long-term happiness slipping away inside the gym. Following that thought I saw a future if I desired with a smile on my face, I was in the ocean, paddling wherever my heart lead me. It was the next day I bought my first standup paddleboard. I see guys and girls in there older years living this dream, like Peggy and Mickey Munoz and so many others. What I saw as my future is what I live today, a smile on my face and in my heart. What I get from Standup paddleboarding is complete physical mental and emotional challenges.

Some of the my most memorable moments I have experienced on the water was Standup surfing with Great White Sharks. Paddling along side 60’ Giant Blue Whales, experiencing tears of joy at the battle of paddle just as I was hitting the start of the Elite race, and saving a life of a surfer who had had a heart attack while surfing.

I standup paddle for enjoyment and I race standup paddleboards for the love of competition. I am training to become a faster racer and to be a great women paddle surfer. But most importantly I want to inspire all to believe in themselves and follow their heart and their dreams. I strongly want to be apart of the positive growth of this sport and see this in the future as part of the summer Olympics.