her address is in New York City, Lynda Decker lives
in two worlds; she is the polished owner and creative
director of an award-winning graphic design firm in
the most sophisticated city in the world. She is also
a sandy New York surfer girl.
Lynda's life was not always as inspiring as it is
today.... it changed direction about fifteen years
ago. Lynda and her husband were at the beach watching
a teenage girl surfing with her Dad. She recalls,
"It was so beautiful." When she showed interest
in learning to surf, her husband responded with "There
was no way you could do that". That comment motivated
Lynda to pursue surfing.
At that time, Lynda was unhappy in her job and her
life, so she began her life makeover with a divorce.
Next, she vowed to learn how to surf, and was not
discouraged by the fact that she had never been athletic.
Lynda says "I had no muscle... I was built more
like Olive Oyl", which is hard to believe when
you see her now.
After her marriage ended, Lynda moved from the suburbs
into the city. The talented graphics designer used
her driven personality to start her own business.
Without any funding or clients, Lynda started Decker
Design using just her talent, her computer and her
wits. The business has grown to be quite successful
over the past ten years. In fact, her firm won the
1995 Corporate Volunteer Habby award for the donated
design and programming of New York Habitat for Humanity.
Having grown up in East Rockaway, Lynda's dream of
surfing was never far from sight. In April of 1999,
at the age of 40, Lynda became a Las Olas surf girl.
It was in those early days of Las Olas when I first
met Lynda. I was the safari leader and still learning
to surf myself. I remember watching Lynda transform
from a stressed-out businesswoman to a relaxed smiley
surfer girl. It was like watching a flower open.
Lynda enjoyed her safari so much, that she has returned
three times since. At each safari, Lynda advances
her surf skills and uses her time to recharge her
spirit. She is always inspired by the "rhythm
of relaxing" in Mexico, and thrives in the absence
of the usual New York pressures. Lynda has kept in
touch with her fellow New York surfer girls by inviting
them to holiday parties and reconnecting with margaritas,
the official drink for Las Olas girls.
Since becoming a surfer, Lynda works out regularly
but describes her surfing skill as inconsistent. "There
are days of brilliance and days of absolute incompetence.
The Long Beach break is steep and difficult."
But challenges don't slow her down one bit and she
still loves the sense of freedom that surfing gives
her. Lynda surfs at Long Beach and Montauk all summer
long, and occasionally during the fall and spring.
She makes the most of her time, saying "I do
spend all day at the beach. Friends who don't surf
don't understand...". Because she is still building
her business, she doesn't have much time to travel,
but treats herself to a Las Olas safari almost every
Lynda says that being a New York surf girl is a study
in contrast. "During the week I'm in high heels,
dressed up, taking on projects and practically eating
stress. On the weekend I'm no make up, flip flops
and in the water for hours." When you see her
drop into a wave, you'd never suspect that she has
a weakness for shoes and fashion.
Lynda's interest in photography, drawing and the arts
have given her aspirations of her own photography
gallery show, and knowing Lynda's determination, I
have no doubt that she'll make it happen. When I asked
her where she'd like to retire, she replied with "I'm
never going to retire!"... there's that driven
personality again. She would, however, love to have
a little cottage in Amagansett and another in a place
in a warm climate.
I was inspired by Lynda's ability to redesign her
life, so I asked her to share her personal insight
... "There is nothing in this world that is impossible.
Just make a decision to do something and never give
up. Somehow you will meet people that will help you
along the way. I found that for me, the experience
of learning to surf is a great lesson in discovering
that it's the journey, not the destination that brings
Year after year, we are motivated by Lynda's tenacity
and we look forward to sharing waves with her in years
written by: Judi Morales Gibson