This is the first in a series of stories about a 60+ “newbie.” She entered her seventh decade earlier in 2013 – welcome to the best years, Peggy! We;ll start with some background and then subsequent posts will follow her through adventures on the water, her challenges along the way and her evolution toward SUP. Why “wonder woman?” Well, no one has yet to see Peggy King and WonderWoman together – only makes us think about it.
Peggy King: Family, SUP, Ocean, Piano and Dogs (5 of them!)
From upstate New York and a childhood spent skiing on snow and water, Peggy made her way to the University of Denver, CO and met Bill KIng, her husband of 37 years. By 1976 they had moved to Hawaii where they raised their, now adult, son.
Peggy’s world of work and volunteering is as diverse as her water sports activities. She taught piano, PE and a fitness instructor working at various elementary schools and at Valley Isle Fitness on Maui over 25 years. Music and animals are true passions and have brought Peggy to serve on music boards and volunteer with Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation. If you swing by Whole Foods in Kahului you’ll spot Peggy introducing adorable, homeless dogs to their potential new owners.
How many of us watched the movie JAWS and were scared out of the water for a spell – Peggy was too! Her venture into the shore break at Baldwin beach resulted in an over-the-falls fiasco that didn’t help her confidence at all. Luckily, two girlfriends introduced Peggy to windsurfing and (lucky break) instructor Mike Waltze. That lesson in 1979 inspired a windsurfing way of life, including Bill’s opening Sailboards Maui with Mike Waltze and Fred Haywood in 1980. Along with Matt Schweitzer and his father, this group worked to develop windsurfing and its equipment into what has evolved today.
In the 1981 Maui to Molokai windsurfing speed crossing in 1981 Peggy was the only woman to compete and finish. In 1984 at the Oneill Invitational Peggy was the overall winner of the wave and slalom events. By 1990 at age 35+ she became Maui County Slalom Champion. To this day I thank BK’s nieces who baby sat my 2 year-old son Gar so I could compete in that event!
Our son, Garfield was born in 1988 and raised him with a waterman’s upbringing in addition to school and soccer. Gar and I learned to kiteboard together in 2000 and onward. We truly enjoyed our Mother and Son full circle experiencing wind and water sports on Maui. Watching Gar at Hookipa and the summer gusty winds finally became a bit much and I retreated from the ocean briefly in 2007.
That was a pivotal decision – and a good one! My dear longtime friend and massage therapist, Bill Boyum turned me on to SUP. I haven’t looked back since. (More on the SUP Adventures of Peggy King to follow. SUBSCRIBE to Elder SUP so you don’t miss this or our other stories.)