This altruistic picture of myself brings me back to the nighties…
At that time… I wanted to say that everything was easier. But it was not. I am smiling at all the pictures, and I was happy at all of these pictures. But the story was not always beautiful.
I am from a traditional family. The Surf was still new in Portugal, and sports wasn’t exactly for girls like me. (I mean from this kind of family…).
I am the second child after the “Son of a Man”, so the Cinderella that has never found the lost shoe, plus, 10 years after we (my parents) had a couple of Princes more. Can you imagine who had to help taking care of it? Yep.
For a long time, I left lots of things behind, but no one noticed it. I was a good student, although my parents pushed us all so much that nothing was ever good enough. (Now a days I became like them….😬🤷♀️). We helped at the market, and I helped a lot with the young ones… I don’t know If my mom ever thought about how much. At a really young age, before I even surf, I was changing diapers, putting babies to sleep, and finishing and giving soup to the babies.
I could never answer the question, “why Surf?” or “when did you fell in love with Surfing?”. Honestly, I think my passion was the beach and the sea. The Surf came long after.
I remember being a really young teenager, and as soon as my parents gave me the authorization to go back home from the beach on my own, after them, I think I have never been at the table, for dinner in time.
I was always late, still wet from the last dive at the sea, and absolutely cold because I wouldn’t lose the last glimpse of the sun! Sometimes the kitchen would already be tidy and clean, and “there’s no dinner for you lady! Go up to your room, take a shower and go to bed!”
If by chance I would still be in time for supper, with everyone already at the table seated and tidy, there would be a terrifying silence, my heart would be speeding and my eyes at the floor, and many times fighting to stay dry… And very commonly my father would ask in a ghastly tone: “- Did you close the beach?”; ME (daring): “- Yes. I was the last one.” or “- Yes, and I brought the key!”… But what would follow,… well let’s just say that wouldn’t look good at this story. Or most probably, big yelling and complaining about my manners. TROUBLES!
There was always so much to do, to see, to live at the beach, that I could live there in a small hut!
Later, my father once seat next to me at the beach, while I watched a surfer trying to pierce the big white water wall of our rough lineup in Santa Cruz, which was not so common in the early nineties, and he said: “I would love your brothers to become surfers!”(He was referring to the men brothers). There was such a mix of feelings inside of me. And trust me, those feelings were physical things moving inside my stomach and my chest at the same time. I was happy and sad and hurt and confused. Everything related to freedom, was always men things, always. Girls should be at home,… But I wasn’t that kind of girl. And please!, it was the nineties, not the sixties! But this family thing was always like being left back at some oldies. And even at that time, they would have the hippies. But I was never a hippie. I have never been or felt a hippie. I never ever consumed any kind of drug. I would get an extra half glass some kind of sweet alcohol, like once or twice a year, but nothing else. Everyone knows I disapprove of all kinds. It’s connected to me to some kind of weakness… (But that is a talk for other extensions…) Plus I always loved technology, enjoy studying, and I always tried to be a super civic person, respecting the other… Never been bohemia, always had a discreet conventional appearance. Never got me into some kind of fundamentalistic movement…, But maybe at the eyes of my parents and family, close society, – a free spirit, nonconformist, unconventional person. Maybe I’ve been this,… yes. Now that I put it into these words… free spirit, nonconformist, unconventional person.
Going back to my father’s sudden approach, that got me kind of shocked,… I wanted to be a Surfer. Me, a girl. Why on earth was it in his head, a boy’s sport? Why? Sometimes I really want to excuse them by thinking that at that time we used to see some junkies surfing, and it was not an elite kind of sport like Golf or Tennis… But then, just doesn’t make sense, because my brothers were also their children…Well… Maybe there is nothing to understand. Twenty-five years have passed by,… I’ve done it anyway. I just breathe in and out and told him: “- But I want to do it!” … Silence… and he: “- If you want to do it, you have to learn!”
At the end of the evening I came down to the town with cousins and friends, on our bikes and I just saw a big poster saying: “Surf School”. I am a little ashamed to say, but at the time I did not even think about it, I took it off the wall, rolled it up, and brought it home to show to my father, but he absolutely killed my mojo by rephrasing his own words: “If you want to become a surfer, you have to learn first, and then I help you to buy the equipment”. I will just finish this start of a big story by says: He never did!
In between, there is a lot I want to tell you all about, what goes inside my head because there is a looooot going, but I just want to leave some sentences for us to think about altogether, and if you get interested, I can rewrite about them…
Life wasn’t easy at that time, because none of my brothers got any interested in Surf, (they did tho later) and no one would really understand why I wanted to close and open the beach every day, why I would prefer to go to sleep earlier to be fresh in the morning to fight with the sea, Why would lose so many of the big events: Concerts, football championship finals, the “Titanic” and other movies that became historical, and end up losing the timing (Maybe) to get married and get a bunch of kids as I dreamed with, little girl.
It is not easy nowadays that everyone discovered some kind of magic life, they have never understood in the past,… And I am talking about the ones that already, finally had the courage to leave the city or the suit… The sea is packed! And the community grew so fast, that there was no time or concern about the social environment, so absolutely no education or organization in most of the lineups I visited recently – Here in Portugal or other places in the world. – A subject I really want to revisit!
I suffered at the time, but I believe that for almost 10 years, I kind of repressed it inside me. So now I Answer a question very commonly asked me: “No, it was not easy, to be a girl – because Sports and Surf would be a boy thing. And no, it’s not easy to be a businesswoman in the middle of men, that get hard feelings when next to me! Said!
There I know, there is no other woman with this path in my area. I mean – Developing a business career in Surf without family investments, support… Sorry if I am wrong. In other Sports, I know some strong women.
It could have been easier. Yes. But was still doable.
love at first sight