Discovering a new passion

How many years it took you to start planning or to use a harness? What is the lowest temperature you’ve been windsurfing? Well, let us tell you the story of Tania and how she learnt and got addicted to windsurfing. We saw it and found it amazing! Tania lives in Malcesine. She has succesfully taken part in three Ironman over the last 3 years. But after she has discovered windsurfing, all the other sports now are a part of the past, or as an alternative for the non-windy days.

Tania, when did you discovered windsurfing and took your first lesson?
I´ve now lived in Malcesine for 16 years. I’ve always seen windsurfers on the lake, but I thought is too hard for me and I couldn’t swim. 4 years ago, I’ve started practicing triathlon, done 2 full Ironman and a Half Ironman. I swam for 4 km in the Indian Ocean, so the “scary” part was gone. Last year in June I took my first windsurfing lesson. I’ve never had so much fun learning a new sport.

How many hours and days a week could you go windsurfing?
According to my heart and mind I could do it every day for hours. But during the summer I have 2 jobs and 2 kids to take care of. But at least 3 times a week I tried to be at the school to practice.

Well, 2 jobs and 2 kids. How do you manage all this?
When you love what you’re doing, managing time is not a problem. I never stay still. I’ve been practicing different sports all my life. I couldn’t live without it.

How long it took you before you started to use the harness?
I’ve used the harness after 2 months.

After how long you made the step to go on the water with no dagger board?
When I started to use the harness, I’ve started as well with a smaller board, instead of 220 I started with 145. Now I use 90 Slalom board with strong wind and 106 Slalom with lighter wind.

What came first, the water start or planning?
Definitely the planning. I’ve started planning at the end of August. On 5th September I’ve crossed the lake planning for my first time. An incredible joy. On November I managed to do my first water start.

Slowly the temperature on Lake Garda went down under 10 degrees. We have seen you not giving up, and even windsurfing with 2 degrees outside. You obviously fall from time to time, it is not cold?
Well, I fall often. If you don’t fall you don’t learn. But I’ve never been cold in the water. Sometimes I still struggle but I love it. Harder it gets the more I like. When I start planning, feeling the wind, the speed, thinking about controlling the board, trying to do a jibe… …the cold has no place in it. Everything I need is in my mind.

Why even some of the most passionate windsurfers don’t windsurf in colder temperature? What message would you give them?
People usually are afraid of the unknown and they have a preconceived opinion that is not based on actual experience or they don’t know how to deal with some circumstances in their mind. I think you have to try because if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived. Obviously, I’m not staying 3 hours in the water, but at least one hour I love to let myself in. I don’t know if I can leave a message… …I believe if you put passion and love in what you are doing, everything else doesn’t matter.

You are windsurfing in over 25-30 knots fully planning. What is the next step?
Definitely the Power Jibe. I’m on my way. I have some great teachers from my BlackTeam.

You have been training a lot for the Ironman in cold temperatures. Running, race biking, windsurfing…which you feel is colder?
Biking. Last year during the winter time I was biking a lot. I’ve done 7000 km in 6 months. In January last year, one day I was on my bike and I almost start crying for the pain I felt on my fingers. This never happened windsurfing.

What is the difference between an endurance sport like Ironman against a fun sport like windsurfing?
Windsurfing is fun, but you also need to train if you want to achieve a certain level. Is more technical than an endurance sport but you need to have good coordination especially if you start at my age. Well, depends what are your expectations. I’ve always been addicted to all the sports I’ve practiced. I’m a perfectionist. I love fighting for my goals and I always have a goal.

Describe windsurfing in less than 20 words.
Pure adrenaline, a way of life, sometimes is meditation, other is like a valve that releases out the stress of everyday life. (I’ve written more than 20 words, but I can use an entire book)

How did your life change now that you have discovered windsurfing?
Windsurfing gives peace to my soul but on the same time is bringing me joy, it gives me some pure adrenaline, it takes me to a different level of life. I wake up in the morning and the first thing that I’m doing is looking at the lake to see if the wind is coming. Sometimes I hear it in the middle of the night and I just tell myself tomorrow you’ll have a great day. I’m lucky to live in Malcesine. When I’ll be in Hell they will ask me where you lived…I’ll say in Heaven 🙂

 

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