When I first joined the ASP World Tour, I was a fierce competitor. Hawaii public high school had conditioned me to always put up a tough front and never expose my feelings to people because you never wanted to appear to be weak. On tour, I was able to keep my fellow competitors at a distance and never let them in. I didn’t share anything too personal about myself with them. I didn’t want to see them as friends, and sometimes I would even go so far as to convince myself they were enemies. It is so much more motivating to defeat an enemy than a friend. I didn’t want to know them on a personal level because once you get to know someone on a personal level, you begin to care about them.
It was so much easier to compete against the other women on tour if I didn’t care about them or have any personal attachment to them. I know how it feels to fly half way around the world and then lose in the first round – that is a feeling you never want to feel, and I wouldn’t wish that feeling on a friend. So in order to try to keep my competitive edge, I wouldn’t let myself see them as friends.