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Lifestyle Redesign

Although 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 year.

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 the joy."

Year after year, we are motivated by Lynda's tenacity and we look forward to sharing waves with her in years to come.

written by: Judi Morales Gibson



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