Heather Ernst, a 1997 Reynolds School of Journalism graduate, fell in love with surfing at the age of forty, after crossing a surf lesson off of her bucket list. Her goal was to try surfing once and be finished, but after her first lesson, she could not resist going back into the water. She has her husband to thank for pushing her to pursue a new activity.
“After I had our second daughter, (my husband) surprised me with a lesson at Venice Beach. I was scared, anxious … and was totally unsure about the whole experience,” Ernst said.
Her competitive personality kept her from quitting. While she always had an athletic and active lifestyle, surfing was a new challenge that took her to the next level.
“Surfing pushes me in so many ways- physically and mentally. It is by far the hardest sport I have ever learned and by far the most rewarding, and I will always be learning from it. Surfing is my church. That is the best word I can come up with to describe it.”
After becoming a more experienced surfer, Ernst realized that she wanted to document her experiences in the waves. She wrote her first article, “Awakened by Waves,” and sent it on to different surf magazines, searching for one that could properly tell her story as a woman and as a surfer. After roughly a month of waiting, she heard back from WMNSurfMag, and it was a perfect match.
“The WMNSurfMag is such a fun publication. I feel very lucky and blessed to be a small part of it. I am realizing that I am going to have to start branching out as far as surf experiences so I can keep writing with new ideas,” Ernst said.
WMNSurfMag decided to publish her story. She was thrilled to have an audience that could read about her experiences. With her first story published, Ernst has a new goal in mind.
“If I had my druthers, I would love to publish the stories in a small surf book. If I could get about 30 of them together and an interested publisher, I would be happy,” she said.
Ernst’s drive for writing and love of surfing has only grown since her first published article, and she is now a contributor with WMNSurfMag. She plans to pursue this new passion while continuing her day job as a teacher, a career she has held for 17 years. She hopes her future will be filled with writing and plenty of new surfing experiences.
“I learned that I love to write … writing is something that is a part of me, and I always want to be doing it in some aspect.”