Before I fell in love with surfing, my first athletic passion was basketball. Yep, it was a total “Love & Basketball” affair all through my teenage years and early 20s, earning an athletic scholarship to play college basketball at Providence College, and then later Emory University. No joke, I used to shoot around 1,000 shots A DAY(total props to my parents for being my personal rebounder 90% of the time).
So when I saw the news on Sunday morning about Kobe Bryant's fatal helicopter crash, my heart sank.
Kobe was not only an amazing, hard working athlete that inspired me as a young basketball player to always give 110% on and off the court, but years later, in present day, as a father of four girls Kobe had become a phenomenal advocate and mentor for women in sports. And most importantly, he was a role model for everyone, whether or not you like basketball or not, with his love and dedication to his family.
Six days later, I still am in disbelief and my heart aches for the loss of three young female athletes who were headed to their basketball game (one of them being Kobe's 13 year old daughter), the parents that were on board that helicopter, and the game changer that was Kobe. And seeing all the outpouring of messages on social media + the news, I know I'm not the only one that is simply saddened by this tragic accident.
In a blink of an eye, our time here on this beautiful place we call home can end, no matter if you're a legendary athlete or a girl who traded her NYC heels for a surfboard + camera in Costa Rica. If there's any silver lining in this, may this be a reminder.
A reminder to...
Kiss slowly, and hug with your whole heart.
Smile at strangers, it’s contagious.
Work hard AND enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
Stand up for what you believe in with grace.
Give more than you receive.
Say I love you.
And then look at yourself in the mirror and say I love you too.