ORIGINAL SC | Kite Boarder Elea Faucheron

ORIGINAL SC | Kite Boarder Elea Faucheron


[MUSIC PLAYING] ELEA FAUCHERON: The ocean is
one of the most peaceful places that I know. There’s something
about just sitting at the edge of something that
is so vast, so huge, and so powerful. it really makes you
feel small in a sense, but it also makes you feel
like you’re a part of something much bigger than just yourself. I actually grew up as a mountain
girl in Boone, North Carolina, but always wanted to
live at the beach. So after I graduated
college, I moved to Charleston, South
Carolina, and was exposed to kiteboarding within
two months of moving here. And absolutely fell
in love with it. Kiteboarding is pure freedom. It is all about having a
spontaneous moment outside, getting fresh air, just really
relaxing the mind as well. You really can’t think
about a lot of stuff when you’re out
there on the water, and you’re just
getting one of the best releases you can
possibly get let alone working out your body as well. So when I first started
kiteboarding in Charleston, there were two other women
that were kiteboarding. One was a local, an older
woman, and the other woman was actually just
visiting from out of town. And I found that one of
the biggest misnomers with kiteboarding was that you
had to have a lot of upper body strength. And since, on first
glance, it does look like you might need that
strength because you’re holding onto the bar, and if you
only see a lot of men out there doing the
sport, it’s kind of easy to come to that conclusion. But it’s actually
absolutely not true. You use more lower body
strength and core strength than you do your arms,
because you’re actually harnessed into the
kite and leaning back, and the kite is holding
all of your weight, and the bar is actually
just for steering. And so it really inspired
me to get more women out on the water, especially
just because of everything that kiteboarding taught me
about failure, about evolving to the next step, and about
really connecting back to where it was that I wanted to be. And so I started encouraging
women to get into the sport. I created a club called
the Air Club 4 Girls. And the reason that
I did that is I found that women
really flourished in company of other women,
and I found that they really enjoyed the camaraderie. And so I started the group
just to introduce other girls together that wanted to go. Everyone was at
different levels, but just cheering each other on,
and keeping everything rolling, keeping their confidence
going, and really making sure that they stayed
the course of their goal. Here in Charleston, we have
kiters of all ages ranges, which is really great. We have as young as eight
or 10 years old and then we have as old as 70. It makes for a really
great community. One thing that’s also really
important about kiteboarding is that it is actually
a very social sport, and it is best to really do
with other people around, other people to watch
your back, and make sure that everything’s going OK. It’s really, in that sense,
it’s really a community building sport. And I find that people really
enjoy the connections that they make on the water,
and a lot of times they become lifelong
friendships. I kite as much as I possibly
can in my free time. But when that
doesn’t allow, I love to actually paint,
to write, and to do anything else that really keeps
me active, keeps me creative outside. For me, it’s a lot about
giving back and encouraging other women into sport,
especially because I grew up always an active child. But I was never from parents
that practiced extreme sports. So that was never really
available to me or around me and I never considered myself
an extreme sports kind of girl. So when I picked up kiteboarding
and was actually able to do it, I was so excited, and it
helped build my confidence so much that I really
felt a need and a desire to want to encourage other
girls who felt like, oh no, I can’t do that. Oh, that’s not for me, or I’m
not extreme enough to do that. To realize that
yes, yes, you can. You can totally get out
there, and you can do it, and if you put your
mind to it, it’s yours. One of the biggest things that
I try to remind myself every day is just how short
life really is, and that you really
just have this moment now to create something
that you really love or to do something
that you really enjoy, and so I think it’s really
about every day, taking some bold action in your
life, uncovering new ways to look at your life,
and new ways to think, and really generating and
cultivating more ways to smile. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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