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As another spectacular year passes, as we have witnessed yet another great Rip Curl Cup, a stellar season of waves and as the Surftime awards come to a close, our thoughts turn toward champions. Mega Semahadi, up against a remarkable field, some of the most famous surfers on earth, persevered for the second time. Raditya Rondi, who apparently cannot lose a contest, has eclipsed the field again and become the Surftime Surfer of the year… again.

And young Taina Ezquierdo, our 2016 Female surfer of the year, the Pride of Padang, has shown us that dedication and big smile can also lead to greatness. The list goes on, of course, but let’s consider other thoughts outside the realm of trophies. Let’s think about the other kind of Champions we had this year. Think about 13 year old Ben Benson, who took off on one of the biggest waves of the year at Desert Point and got his face bashed in by the reef. His courage not measured in taking off on that wave, but measured by how he handled himself in the following twelve hours it took him and his Dad to get to the surgeons in Singapore. Or Bronson Meidy, who apparently knows no fear, and is surfing like a grown man on an almighty tear.

Inspiration can be found all around us. Many of us mortals have come to believe that greatness is only for the chosen few, the superstars. But the real truth, as illustrated in the hearts mentioned above, is that greatness is for all of us. Championships and awards are not to illustrate that most of us are lower, with lower expectations and abilities. Championships and Awards are about raising the bar for every last one of us. Greatness is not in one special place and it’s not in one special person. Greatness is wherever somebody, anybody is striving to find it. Greatness has no peak.

Knows no obstacles. And so, with the thoughts of Championships and Awards in our minds, maybe we should find our own path to personal greatness by striving for a cause and not applause. To live our lives to express and not to impress. To strive not to make our presence noticed… but to strive to make our absence felt. Because in the end, as Gandhi famously said, greatness lies not in trying to remake the world, but in being able to re-make ourselves. Muhammad Ali said he was the greatest even before he was. Proving that greatness does not rely on being strong, but in the right use of your own strength.

Excellence is not an accident. And greatness is a choice. And even if we are all able in our own ways to achieve a greatness. Let’s remember that greatness is not measured in the amount of fans that will bow down to you, but by fans who will stand up for you.

So we will leave you with this issue that celebrates Championships and awards. And with one last thought as you flip through these pages of great people. You think training is hard? Try losing. Because if you don’t shape your own world, someone else will.


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