In preparation for Paddle Imua 2014, we caught up with one of last year’s winners (and big time Imua Family Services supporter) Andrea Moller. Andrea has a huge heart, and is also quite the champion water woman. She’s active in stand up paddling, outrigger canoe and big wave surfing, and has won many races on stand up and canoe, and was the first female to paddle surf at Jaws! Let’s find out what makes her tick, and maybe some of her greatness can rub off on us!
What about outdoor sports (or paddling in specific) excite you?
Paddling and surfing are my ways to enjoy the ocean and live life to the max. SUP is a sport that allows many people to appreciate nature and be healthy and fit at the same time. I met many people and made lots of good friends from paddling communities who have fulfilled my life with health and positivity. My favorite thing is to paddle long distance downwind runs and surf the open ocean waves.
How does connecting with the ocean have therapeutic or healing effects on you? Do you feel it is good for other people to create and nurture this connection? Why?
Definitely. The ocean is healing in many ways. It is a spiritual therapy in my opinion, connecting body and soul. My entire life has been around ocean activities, surfing, sailing, paddling, or simply swimming. The ocean teaches me the power of Nature, everyday making me humble and appreciative of life. Anyone will benefit form being in our around ocean activities.
How does the work that you do (through your business/career) contribute to healthy families/communities?
I work as paramedic in the County of Maui. It is not only my job but also my passion to help people in general, during work hours as well as when I am off duty. I am passionate about medicine and love to learn about people and find ways I can make a difference in their lives.
Why do you choose to support a program like Camp Imua?
Camp Imua has an amazing mission that inspires me. Besides giving the kids opportunities, they also give us the special chance to meet amazing kids, and spend time with them learning their precious personalities. They teach us a lesson each and everyday, which has made me realize how much more we should all be doing for the community. Camp Imua gives us the opportunity to give back, and more importantly, allow these kids to have fun and make new friends. I feel blessed I met a few kids and played with them in the ocean for at least one day. Their smile is priceless. Their families are inspiring. Thank you Camp Imua for giving me this moment with them.
Tell us a story about how a child has impacted or changed your life for the better. Or tell us about your experience at Paddle Imua last year.
The first year I raced Paddle Imua I honestly didn’t fully know the meanings of this race. Only when I arrived at the beach and meet a few kids that I realized how much this fundraiser meant for them ( and for me). From that day, I searched about Camp Imua and immediately wanted to be a part of it. My heart wanted to take the kids paddling, since that’s what the event was about. I contacted Maile asking if the kids would like to get in the water. She contacted the families and helped me make this dream come thru. We called it “Ike Imua”, a day where the kids could come to the beach, meet several athletes, and have fun paddling SUP, outrigger canoe or even take a ride on the jet ski. It was one of the best days I’ve had in the ocean. I’ll never forget their smile . One of the kids I got to know was Nikki, who initially was a bit timid, but became an unbelievable athlete herself – I am so proud of her! Good job to every kid that made this day so special. This year we will have our second Ike Imua day, on April 19th, at Hawaiian Canoe Club. Please come join us!