Candice Appleby and Anthony Vela are two of the most recognizable faces in the world of Stand Up Paddling. Candice has won the Elite Race at the Battle of the Paddle more than anyone else but it’s not just the racing that makes these two so well loved. Candice recently shared these thoughts after the Inaugural Performance Paddling Junior Pro & Youth SUP (May 2013), “Yesterday was undoubtably one of the most joyful days of my life so far. All of the smiling faces of these precious children are engraved in my heart. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart to all of the sponsors who helped make this event possible. To all of the volunteers and crew, this wouldn’t have been possible without your help. Each and every one of you played a huge role in the success of this event. Thank you so much for working so hard. To the Children, it was a pleasure watching your skills and talents on the water. You all shined bright for the whole SUP world to see. Parents, thank you for supporting your children’s ambitions and promoting a healthy active lifestyle. Anthony, I don’t even know what to say. You have changed my life in so many ways and helped me turn many of my dreams into realities. Thank you My Love. You are the best friend and companion I could ever have. And of course, thank you Lord!
More and more Candice and Anthony are putting back into the sport, especially through their coaching. Just over twelve months ago the pair stepped up that commitment when they created Performance Paddling. The initial focus was on hosting SUP coaching clinics at the big races they travel to. Their vision has evolved into much more. The creation of the “Performance Paddling Competition Team“, which is basically an elite junior squad of Stand Up Paddlers inspires paddlers both young and old while guiding the culture around standup paddling as a sport and a community. In a sport as young as SUP there is not a culture of tradition and mentors.
Rather than having a cadre of “elders” who inspire the next generation, Candice and Anthony have stepped into that role. It will make all the difference. That sort of “connection across generations” is exactly the sort of story we love to share at Elder SUP.
Candice recently posted a quote from a coffee table book titled, ONE. A portion of it is here. As you read it, it’s important to know that Candice posted it during a time she was recovering from hand surgery that has curtailed her competing as she heals and rehabs. During that time she has remained active and giving within the SUP world, all with her signature smile.
“A great life includes something worth living for, maybe even worth dying for. A portion of a great life would be devoted to something bigger, greater, grander than yourself. Something that inspires you, energizes you, pulls you forward. Something that responds to your unique talent or touch and , ultimately, makes a difference in the world around you.
A great life would naturally bring more meaning, love, laughter, wonder and adventure to your days. At the end of your journey you would look back on a life of significance, rather than regret-knowing in your heart that you left the world better than you found it. Knowing that you made a difference in the lives of others. Knowing that you got something wonderful out of it, and that you gave something wonderful back.
A great life, of course, is not something we experience, it’s something we create.”
There is no doubt that in the process of creating a great life for herself, Candice radiates the energy that inspires us to dig deeper, mine our talents well and share what we can with others – generously and with love.
As she moves through the work and time it takes to recover from hand surgery patience and persistence will pay off. Recently Candice reported, ” I surfed my longboard yesterday for the first time since my surgery and it felt so good. Thanks for all the continued prayers and positive thoughts. I still have a ways to go before my hand is ready to properly grip a paddle, but I WILL GET THERE. Thanks for your continued support.”
Sooner or later we’ll all have that injury or life challenge that will deliver a setback that demands our strongest attitude and commitment. Flexibility, a grin and accepting the support of friends can make the journey an exercise in the attitude of gratitude. Thanks for the reminder, Candice.
When commenting on her life with Anthony Vela she explains that sometimes it’s like a dream. Candice recognizes, “My life is so blessed. Thanks to all of my friends through the years from whom I have learned about life and the ocean. I am thankful everyday. How did I get so lucky?”
Candice, I think you have made your own luck. As a SUP Muse, you inspire us to use our talents and energy in a similar manner.