Words by Zach Weisberg
Cyrus Sutton and Kassia Meador. They’ve both managed to craft a life (and livelihood) that revolves around the things they love without, ostensibly, making many ideological compromises. Yes, they are insanely talented surfers, and it’s likely that their exceptional talents have played a huge role in enabling their lifestyles to date. But they’ve never been content to limit their platforms to surfing. They’ve built a life around the ocean and have consistently championed causes they believe in along the way with integrity and optimism. We want to know their secret.
Luckily, they dropped a few gems in this conversation.
Chad Nelsen, CEO of Surfrider Foundation, was in the audience and asked both panelists what goes behind their Instagram feed. It might look like sunshine and rainbows, but even that appearance requires a lot of hard work.
“Young people want to live a life that’s unconventional as an escape from hard work, because it looks playful,” responded Sutton. “I always think to myself, if I were to have kids, which I hope to one day, I would not necessarily glamorize living an alternative or radical lifestyle. I would instill in them a sense of getting your foundation however that manifests, whether it’s becoming a mechanic or a professor or doctor and then really being able to enjoy the things that we all agree are amazing.”
We later asked Meador any advice she might offer to individuals who have a project or passion they’d like to pursue, but their self-doubt or fear of failure has prevented them from trying.
“If you think you can do it, you’ve already done it,” said Meador. “So do it. Because nothing’s a failure because you’re getting it out into the world. Things don’t happen to us. They happen for us. Whatever you’re putting out will reinform you to make another decision or to create something further down the line or inspire something else, so there is no failure truly so long as your intention is pure and what you’re creating is coming from your heart. And if you’re putting it out into the world with those energies, then I think there is no failure, it’s just an opportunity to learn and grow and expand and push yourself even deeper.”
Watch the talk on The Inertia’s website now