I knew I liked her within 30 seconds of watching her FEAT Canada Talk. “I’m going to share my story with you, it’s about setting goals, pushing limits, creating opportunities and making dreams become reality”

Creating opportunities… I like that! Rather than stand around and wait for something to happen Linda MADE it happen, in the new sport of SUP. And once she started, she didn’t look back! While she says she doesn’t race for podium finishes, she sure has a way of finding herself on top on a regular basis! Check it out:

2014 World Champion, 2014 World Series Champion, 2014 Overall Battle of the Paddle Champion, 2014 and 2015 Fastest Female Paddler on Earth, 1st to SUP Yukon River Whitehorse to Dawson, First Canadian Female to SUP Molokai 2 Oahu HI.

I’m proud to introduce you to Lina:

Jami, “Lina, when did you first know you wanted to be a professional athlete?”

Lina, “When I was young gymnast, I was a quiet girl in the classroom and with peers. My internal dream was to be a professional athlete. A dream that countlessly seemed impossible and unrealistic. I wasn’t born into a pro athlete family, I was good at gymnastics but not pro material, I was quiet and needed to work hard in order to find a successful career. As the years went by, I stayed active and competed at a variety of different sports, tried my hand at a few different career paths but always stayed close to physical activity.

Then, when I was finally getting settled in what could have been a really sweet several years of a good career my internal gut feelings sent me back to following those childhood dreams. Suddenly they felt very close to reality and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to at least try to live it out. I made the difficult choice to end a good teaching gig for the complete unknown but this unknown was my dream nonetheless.

So, off I went around the world with the support of my husband and a few sponsors by my side. Little did I realize that no only could I live the life of a pro athlete I would also become a world champion and meet other people and athletes from around the world. This adventure is still continuing and I couldn’t have ever imagined my life turning out like this!”

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Jami, “How has your adventure changed your life?”

Lina, “By following your passions and doing what you love, eventually, opportunities arise. It is important to seize these opportunities in order to explore and learn and flourish. Once I realized how to flourish then I am able to help others achieve their dreams. Helping others reach their dreams is almost just as satisfying or more satisfying than reaching my own”

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Jami, “What is your favorite inspirational quote?”

Lina, “Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body…but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand – martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO~HOO – What a Ride!”

 

Jami, “Can you tell us about a time that you were scared? OR What’s a lesson you learnt from a time where you “failed”

Lina, “If there is anything I learn from failure, or being scared physically or emotionally is to push through the tough times because the biggest gains in life is when you can finish what you started no matter what. Never Give Up! There was one particular moment where my husband didn’t allow me to quit an event where I was struggling like I had never struggled before both physically and emotionally. I so badly just wanted to crawl into a little space or quit and leave but finishing was the greatest thing I could have done.

Pushing through the difficult moments made me realize that it didn’t matter how I finished but that I did. It showed me I can really push through anything and the feeling of accomplishment I experienced that day was greater than winning any big race I had won… because I had won the hardest race, that internal one against myself.”

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Jami, “Who inspires you and why?”

Lina, “My grandpa (who is no longer with us) for his amazing humour and confidence but mostly for his amazing open heart he shared with everyone. He helped anybody and everybody if he could. He consistently thought of others and always took the time to make sure those in need were cared for. He lived everyday with a smile on his face and with endless love for others. He also was physically a machine, a wicked soccer player, dancer, and destroyed us all at ping pong…

 

Jami, “Can you finish this sentence, I think it’s important for children to connect with nature because…”

Lina, “It teaches them so much about life and expands their life skills.  It provides physical, social, and emotional experiences. It’s important to appreciate and understand nature so one learns to respect it and care for it without hesitation. Nature is my sanctuary, its where I find peace and joy… and hope others can enjoy it as much as I do.”

 

Jami, “Another finish this sentence, my favorite local family adventure is…”

Lina, “In Vancouver I love to hit the North Shore Mountains in all forms. Hike/trail run/mountain bike or else hit the local slopes, snowshoe and cross country ski in the winter!”

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Jami, “What is your favourite solo adventure?”

Lina, “SUP to Granite Falls in Deep Cove, or road bike up Mt Seymour then run to dog mountain and back in Vancouver or just go for some runs on Northshore mountains.

 

Jami, “Girl Guide Cookie Talk:  Do you like the chocolate or vanilla ones best?”

Lina, “MINT… do you have those in BC? Growing up i could eat a whole box of the mint ones in one sitting”

 

Check out Lina’s FEAT Canada Talk, her story is inspiring and I can’t wait to follow her journey and see what the future brings!

 

Blog: www.linaaugaitis.blogspot.com

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Twitter: laugaitis

Instagram: @linaaugaitis