Defi Diva – In the Beginning

by Amber K

The first of a couple, or perhaps a few, but definitely not more than a some.

Everyone seems to want to hear about this little adventure I’m on.  So while I don’t “blog” or “facebook” (yes, little Johnny, that is right I don’t have a facebook account…nor do I want one) I figured I would do this the story the “old fashioned way”… gasp!  EMAIL… well ok, so maybe in real live print would be even better, but I’m having problems finding groceries so post offices are right out for the moment. Besides I don’t think I have enough euros to post a potential demi-tome to all of BABA’s members…(“Did she say demi-tome, Alice?!”  yup break out the wine and reading glasses, I’m sure this will be excellent evening pre-bed read.)

So where do I begin this tale? I suppose being an engineer (aka “linear thinker”) that means I start this at the beginning. How does one (specifically an American) find out about a windsurfing race all the way over in some small village in the south of France? Daphne of course!  She posted a youtube link to the “more downhaul” group in the summer of 2010 that showed some amazing footage of a 1000 windsurfers performing a rabbit start behind a jet ski traveling at top speed. The first thing I noticed was that the racers were actually MOVING!!! Very fast in actuality.   Unlike our summer east coast races, where on more than one occasion I’ve been left “wind standing” while everyone else on windsurfing barges move deftly by me. No, in fact, the racers in the video were indeed “hauling ass”, and this made my toes curl. Then of course there was the music that the video was set to.  The artist’s name is “General Fuzz” and I immediately set about down loading his album that featured this
song.  That tune turned out to be an anthem of sorts for when I needed a pick me up over the years. Just the sound of it would bring images of the 1000 windsurfers racing along the distant coast. Their sails raked back, the wind flying through their hair and smiles the size of watermelons on their faces.  How can things not be right in the world when you are there doing that?

(See the video here:

I got it in my mind, that I really REALLY wanted to go to this race.  I had to go. I mean, what was life without saying you competed in Defi? Ok ok so there is Mount Everest, but hey that is sooo over done and besides everyone uses Sherpas and the Sherpas don’t think it is any big deal considering they do it a couple times a year. Anyway, I had the music in my head, and the footage from the video haunting me.  May 2011 came and went. I wasn’t sure I had the gumption to just get up and go that year. I was timid, and strapped a bit financially. Then in May of 2012 I was sitting in Kabul, Afghanistan after being mobilized for a third time.  As I sat there at my dusty work station, watching big blinking status boards, I promised myself that I would go next year. I would not risk missing another year. I couldn’t wait for the “right moment” because when ever is there a “right” moment? Anything can happen in a year, war, illness, poverty, shoulder surgery etc., one can’t wait forever to
live. Carpe Diem!!!  Just Do It!!!  Just Get on and Ride!!!  Well… you get the idea. So… I did and here I am.

ed note:  Here’s the official Defi site

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