Running On Faith And Banking On Skate: Lady Jean Meek Finds Balance Outside Of Surfing December 20 2016 3 Comments
"Only a surfer knows the feeling," and only a surfer knows the feeling of having to stay out of the water for a prolonged period of time. It can be maddening, the most trying test of our patience as we wait for the opportunity to get back into the water. Lady Jean Meek is 15 years old and already an expert at dealing with the pain and suffering of being sidelined from an activity she loves. Over the past two years she has been dealing with inner and outer ear infections which forced Lady to drop out of the National Surfing Circuit after the third contest of 2016.
Originally from Texas where she first stood up on a wave at age 11, Lady's family moved to Playa Dominical that same year. "I discovered that the waves in Costa Rica are way better than the ones in Texas!" she smiles. " I fell in love with the sport." After finishing third in a local lifeguard benefit contest, Lady knew she wanted to compete regularly.
"I had so much fun.. the waves were perfect, I didn't feel any pressure to win. I just surfed. I've always been into competitive sports, but surfing is definitely the best."
In 2015, Lady Jean Meek ranked in 7th and 8th place respectively for the Junior Women and Open Women categories on the National Surfing Circuit. Not bad for a girl from Texas.
Last year Lady experienced a lot of pain in her ear after surfing and swimming with some friends. Two surgeries and three months later, she got back in the water. Her ear perforated again and it was discovered that the perforations were due to allergies. Now a full nine months out of the water, the Meek family is currently in Texas where Lady is seeing an allergy specialist.
Pura Vida Board Gear: What are some of the coping methods you use to stay positive while out of the water?
Lady Jean: Honestly, it was really hard to cope with it. I was still going to the surf contests because Charli was competing in them, so it was really hard watching it all. But I did figure out how to handle it. I got into running and skating.
My family has really been supportive through it all. But most of all I know that God has a plan for me.
Pura Vida Board Gear: Describe the support of your family.
Lady: My sisters are my best friends (Charli is 18, Chace is 14). We just get each other so well. They kept me laughing and we do things together all the time. My parents have been so supportive. When we were living in Guanacaste they would drive me 30 minutes each way to the skatepark. They knew that it was the closest thing to surfing.
They helped me find the best doctor in San Jose, Costa Rica. For a while, we were going about once every 2 weeks. Once they realized that they should get a second opinion about my ear, we decided to go all the way back to Texas! I couldn't go by plane ( because of the pressure in my ears) so they went with me by ship to Florida and then we drove all the way to Texas. If that isn't supportive, I don't know what is. I am thankful every day.
PVBG: How has skateboarding been therapeutic for you?
Lady: Skateboarding for me feels like the closest thing to surfing. It’s like you’re flying over the ramps instead of the waves. The rush of going fast or landing a new trick is such a thrill. When I am skating, I put everything out of my mind and enjoy living. I don’t know what I would do without the sport!
PVBG: How long have you been skating?
Lady: About a year and a half.
PVBG: Favorite skatepark in Costa Rica?
Lady: Mutante Skatepark in Playa Negra.
PVBG: In Texas?
Lady: Kerrville or Victoria.
PVBG: Favorite trick?
Lady: Pop-shove-it or front side 50-50 stall. ( A pop-shove-it is a trick where the board is popped in the air and rotates along its vertical axis).
PVBG: Two goals for 2017
Lady: To stay positive and continue loving my life, surfing or not. No matter what happens.
PVBG: Words to live by?
Lady: Isaiah 40:31
Those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not be faint.
We wish this role-model young Lady all the best and are excited to see what 2017 has in store for her.
All photos courtesy of Lady Jean. Professional photo by Taylar Munn, Kook World Productions
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Kate is the owner of Pura Vida Board Gear, a surf brand that promotes surf and a quality, positive lifestyle. Currently living near Playa Jacó, Costa Rica. she enjoys connecting with the culture and diversity of the community. Connect with her on instagram @puravidaboardgear Find Pura Vida Board Gear on Facebook. Subscribe to email list here. Photo: Jorge A. Russell, Playa Jaco