The “Impossible” Sport

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Mckenzie Schilling (10) crouches down as she prepares to ride the next wave. It was an ideal day to surf. Photo Submitted by: McKenzie Schilling

Adriana Rodriguez

McKenzie Schilling (10) has a hobby that is uncommon to most of us “midwesterners”, stuck between the east and west coasts.

“I’ve been surfing for two years at Ponto Beach [in] California,” Schilling said.

Some people may look at surfing as an impossible sport, one that is stereotypically only for “the valley” girls and guys, however Schilling breaks those stereotypes as a Hoosier.

“I like to surf because it’s not easy and it makes me feel free controlling the board over and in front of the waves. I forget every single thing that has ever happened to me and the focus is right there in the moment. It feels like the world stops and that the board is taking me to what’s next. Most importantly, it’s so much fun and pushes me to do the best I possibly can,” Schilling stated.

For those of us who have never experienced the supposed rush of adrenaline you get from surfing, it is hard to think about what the best part could be, whereas Schilling already has the answer.

“Knowing that it feels like I’m in control of the waves and feeling free is what I like most,” Schilling revealed.

Mckenzie’s motivation to begin started because of a surfer well known for surviving a shark attack, leaving her with just one arm to utilize while surfing.

“Bethany Hamilton was my first inspiration to start surfing. Her quote ‘I don’t need easy, I just need possible’ has been the voice in my head when I surf. She’s taught me that no matter what hardships come into my life, you need to push on,” Schilling stated.

When certain things get tough, we too often quit. But Mckenzie makes one thing clear about her future in terms of surfing:

“I will definitely continue to surf in the future because I don’t give up and my passion and love for it will never change except grow stronger,”“I’ve learned not only how to surf, but the techniques of taking on the waves that roll not only in the ocean, but into my life,” Schilling said.