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  • JoPro // Charger - The Best Office in the World

    0 comments / Posted by Melissa Matheson

    JoPro / Charger: The Best Office in the World

     My passion for paddling and the ocean exponentially grew when I became a beach lifeguard five years ago here in my hometown of Coronado, California.   My job as a lifeguard has defined me over these years and I wouldn’t choose any other office over the beach.

     Lifeguarding is an extremely rewarding profession, as you go home many nights knowing that you saved someone’s life. It is a pretty incredible feeling, and makes me remember the significance of this job position. Lifeguarding has become a perfect way to apply all my years of swimming and maintaining a high level of fitness.   On a rescue, the physical training is extremely important as you are giving everything you have to get to your victim. This includes high standards in running, swimming, and paddling. We are encouraged to workout during our breaks each shift, and I always take advantage of this time.

     Lifeguarding is more than just fitness though, and I have had to learn skills in communication, first aid, and rescue recognition. Most of our rescues occur because of large surf and the formation of rip currents which will suck someone right out to sea. Most people who are visiting are uneducated about rip currents and thus try to swim directly against the rip which is difficult even for the best swimmers. The swimmer tends to panic as they are not gaining any progress toward shore, and this is where our job comes in. We have to be able to spot these occurrences when someone is in trouble, and then are able to use our physical skills to make an actual rescue. Teamwork and communication are also vital to the job as the lifeguards at my beach work as one unit, and we always have each others’ backs. The Coronado Beach Lifeguard Agency is like a family as we have built relationships through the hours we spend at the beach together and the calls that come down to life or death.

     Lifeguarding has also brought many opportunities for me as an athlete. Lifeguards are able to compete in competitions here in California and throughout the world against other lifeguards and lifesavers. We compete in skills we utilize in our job such as swimming, running, paddling, and rescue simulations with a tube and board. Just a few weeks ago I was honored to travel to the Netherlands and represent United States Lifeguards in the World Lifesaving Championships. This was an incredible experience getting to meet people from all around the world who share similar passion in the ocean and helping others.   Our team competed extremely well and several members made the podium.

     I have the best job in the world! It really doesn’t get any better.

     Of course I am always sporting my Jolyn Reds and all the girls on our beach are doing the same. Jolyn has been a proud supporter of lifeguards here in the United States and all over the world and makes the best suit to always be ready for anything.

     Our lifeguards thank Jolyn!



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  • Motivational Mondays // Lindsey Gerkens

    0 comments / Posted by Melissa Matheson

    Motivational Monday // Lindsey Gerkens

    - What is your favorite dryland workout? (If you have a specific circuit, track, beach or Cross Fit workout you like, let us know so we can share):

    I love weight training. A good barbell complex works both cardio and functional strength at once. One of my favorites is:

    Deadlift, bent row, hang clean, pushpress, back squat

    8 sets x 6 reps of each exercise consecutive, rest 60 secs between sets

    -What is your favorite water work out (Masters polo practice, ocean swim, surf session, if you have a specific swim set you like, please share):

    Bodysurfing the big angry blown-out washing machine waves you get when a hurricane is coming up the coast- with fins. It’s so much fun you don’t feel your legs burning!

    - What activities do you do in JOLYN:

    Work, train, and play: swimming, surfing, paddling, ocean rescue lifeguarding, surfskiing, bodysurfing

    - What's your favorite JOLYN color:

    It’s a toss up between Mango and Army green

    - What's your favorite JOLYN style and why:

    Softy bottoms! Super flattering, comfortable, and they stay on no matter what.

    - If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would they be:

    A pole spear, vegetable seeds, and my dog Maka

    - What's your favorite beach that you have been to and what beach is on your list to go to:

    Rainbow Bay in Australia near where I went to college is absolute paradise. Someday I’d love to go to the North Shore of Hawaii and see Pipe when it’s firing.

    - Who is your favorite athlete:

    Jolyn Rep and Surf Lifesaving guru Jen Noonan is a huge inspiration to me.  She is all heart and gives so much to support surf lifesaving in the United States and all the other lifeguards that compete- not to mention being an incredible competitor that continues to dominate at the National level decade after decade.

    - What are 3 things on your bucket list:

    Paddle Molokai

    Visit the Mediterranean Greek Islands

    Convince the United States Lifesaving Association to make the American Ironwoman event the same as the Ironman event (by adding the row leg) at the United States National Lifeguard Championships. They currently do not let women row in the race unlike the men because of ridiculous reasons like “it’s too dangerous” and “not very many women know how to row”. And then of course compete in the event!


    - If you were 60 years old, what would you tell your children:

    Follow your heart

    - What's the most inspiring race you've ever seen:

    Over a decade ago, I was privileged to be one of the first women who raced in a full American Ironwoman (with a row!) in the Mayor’s Cup Lifeguard Tournament in New Jersey. For years the tournament had featured an Ironman race, but no Ironwoman race. They had said there wasn't enough interest in the race, they said not enough women knew how to row, they said the boats were too heavy for us, and that there wasn't enough time in the tournament- very similar to the reasons that the USLA is giving today for excluding the full Ironwoman race from the National Championships. However, we persevered and convinced them to add the Ironwoman to the local tournament. Despite their predictions, we had so many women determined to race that they had to expand the maximum number of competitors allowed in the race that year and every single woman finished the race and finished without injuries in 4-5ft surf. Watching the sunset light up the evening sky as we raced and seeing the other girls powering through the pain to prove our equality to the spectators on the beach and the men we work beside everyday was one of the most inspirational and uplifting moments of my eighteen-year lifeguarding career. We weren’t racing each other, we were racing against the race itself, and we all won. I am very proud to say that for the past twelve years female guards in New Jersey have been rowing in the full American Ironwoman at that tournament every summer.

    - What book would you recommend to our readers:

    Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. We are all being pulled in so many directions by modern day life: work more hours, make more money, climb the ladder, be a good spouse, be a good parent, be a good friend, spend time with your parents, stay fit, eat healthy, give back to your community- there’s not enough time in a day to do it all. It helps me keep my priorities straight when I start to feel overwhelmed. 

    - What is something that nobody knows about you:

    I used to tap dance and sing in my high school’s musical theater performances.

    - What is your signature dish in the kitchen:

    I make some mean oven-baked barbecue ribs. Topped off with a homegrown sweet potato and fresh kale from the garden sautéed in olive oil and garlic. Mmm mmm mmm. 

    - What is the hardest thing you've ever experienced:

    Getting divorced. It’s like having the rug pulled out from underneath you, except the rug is your whole life. It shakes your faith in yourself and in others. Life has a way of knocking us all down from time to time. Getting up again is never easy, but finding the strength to stand up again after my divorce was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Some days my legs still feel a little wobbly.

    - Any last words or testimonial:

    Appreciate the small things and the big things will take care of themselves.

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  • JoPro // Charger - The Women of Molokai 2 Oahu

    0 comments / Posted by Melissa Matheson

    The Women of Molokai 2 Oahu

    The Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships is a 32-mile open ocean paddleboard race between the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai and Oahu. This race features the best stand up paddlers and traditional prone paddlers out there.   I remember following this race when I was new into the sport of paddling, seeing Jamie Mitchell, Jordan Mercer, and all the other legends paddling, and I it was only in my wildest dreams to be able to cross this channel.

     Fast-forward five years to 2016 and I was on the verge of my second crossing. Having raced in Molokai 2 Oahu once before I somewhat knew what I was getting myself into, but the thing about this race is that you can never predict what this channel will throw at you. The race becomes so much more than just a competition… but an ADVENTURE… and soaking every moment up of this EXPERIENCE is what it is all about.

     I want to focus on the amazing women who competed in the race this year. Although the large majority of competitors are men in this race, the caliber of the small number of women competitors is just incredible. These are the women who I not only compete against, but the women who I look up to and the women who inspire me to be the best paddler and PERSON I can be.

     The group of ladies who competed directly against me this year in the stock paddleboard division (12 foot traditional prone paddleboard) was probably the most competitive group I have ever paddled against. Abby Brown (only 18 years of age!) came away victorious this year, and what a performance she had. This was her first crossing and she became one of the few who have won this race in their first crossings. Abby inspired me this year, and I know she has a very bright future ahead of her as she paddles from her heart! There was also the champion from last year Colleen Tessler who pushed me to the very end of the race and is always ready to give her very best in these big races. And then we have DJ, our paddle mom, who continues to amaze me and was one of the women who inspired me to take paddling to the next level and compete in these marathon crossings.   During this trip I also became very good friends with Jolyn rep and ambassador Robin Lang who also competed in the stock division. She hails from Virginia Beach and doesn’t let the cold winters deter her from training her butt off for this race. She is incredibly passionate about promoting not only Jolyn as a swimwear company, but as a brand that inspires women to pursue their dreams and passions. She lives directly by this motto, and am proud to call her one of my good friends and Jolyn teammates.

     Then you have Jordan Mercer who has showed dominance in the paddleboard world, winning her 6th title this year in the unlimited paddleboard division.   Jordan is someone I have looked up to for many years now, and her unparalleled determination and drive is extremely admirable.   She has set the bar high for all the girls in the paddling world, and keeps us all working hard and striving to be our best. Liz Pluimers, one of the most legendary Surf Ironwomen from Australia, also showed us that anything you put your mind to is possible. She not only completed Molokai 2 Oahu on a paddleboard, but just a month before crossed the channel on a surf ski. Unbelievable! And then there is Kanesa Duncan Seraphin who is the pioneer of women’s paddleboarding. She has been racing in Molokai for more than a decade, and her continued presence in the race even as a new mom, is incredible. Also working her butt off was Louise Aitken from New Zealand who gave it her absolute all in those 32 miles.


     In addition to the women who I share traditional paddling with, are the women who raced on stand up paddleboards.   Although these ladies are racing on a different craft, they share the common passion for the ocean and also the desire to push their bodies and minds to the limit. German paddleboard phenom Sonja Honscheid won the overall title (almost breaking 5 hours!) followed by Annabel Anderson and Terrene Black. No challenge is too arduous for these ladies and paddling 32 miles in the incredibly dynamic Hawaiian waters on a stand up paddleboard is one that I can hardly wrap my head around. Although I do not know the ladies in the stand up paddleboard world as well as those in the prone world, these women deserve a shout out as well. Lena Guimaraes, Amy Lawson Woodward, Victoria Burgess, Siri Schubert, and Tomoe Yasu all successfully crossed the channel on unlimited stand up paddleboards. Fellow San Diego local and friend Kerstin Oullet took on the channel on a stock stand up paddleboard. Even having a board a few feet shorter than everyone else did not stop her.

     Being surrounded by these women shows me that nothing is impossible with hard work, passion, grit, and determination.








    (All photography done by Jiana Lazarus)

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  • JoPro // Charger Pt.2

    0 comments / Posted by Melissa Matheson


    JoPro Charger

     Pilot: Part 2

    … Through my adventures I have seen the importance of not only my own journey, but inspiring others to find their passion and live it out.   I have a love for teaching and am currently a graduate student in the teaching program at Point Loma Nazarene University and also hold my personal training cert from the American College of Sports Medicine. Working as an instructor with the Coronado junior lifeguard program has also been a huge catalyst for my passion to share my knowledge and love for health and fitness.


    With this in mind, my best friend Jess Rocheleau and I started our own business and brand called Live Your Masterpiece. Jess is a fellow beach lifeguard at Coronado and a swim coach, and she holds a degree in exercise science. Like me, she was a collegiate swimmer, but has carried her athletic career into the sport of triathlon.


    Live Your Masterpiece stemmed from the desire of Jess and I to take this idea of a masterpiece and connect it to the way we each live our lives.  We each have been given this blank canvas called life and it's up to us on what to do with us. There isn't one path, lifestyle, or activity that is better than others. It is more about what is in your heart and living that out... Finding your passion and pursuing it no matter what.


    Not only have we started blogging about our personal experiences and adventures, but are stating to implement these ideas into a service. This fall we plan on holding kids clinics in our hometown of Coronado to encourage young people to get outside and really utilize every aspect of what Coronado has to offer. We want to create a fun and safe environment for kids to come and learn about our passions, hoping to inspire them to manifest their own. Jess and I are adamant about being role models that especially the young girls can look up to.


    In addition to kids clinics, we also want to work with adults as personal trainers and coaches. We train with the two mottos in mind, “train like a lifeguard,” and “make the beach your gym.” The workout plans we generate come from the basis of the ocean lifestyle we both live. The beauty of our job is that a huge component of it revolves around fitness.


    I am looking forward to sharing many of these workouts and tips on this blog!!


    Here is one of our favorite beach workouts to leave you all with:


    5 minute soft sand run (warm-up)

    500 swim (to a buoy and back)

    15 minute soft sand run (alternating 20 situps/10 pushups every other minute)

    500 swim

    15 minute soft sand run (alternating 10 burpees/20

    JoPro Charger



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  • JoPro // Charger

    0 comments / Posted by Melissa Matheson

    Aloha and welcome to my new blog on Jolyn! I am stoked to partner with one of my favorite companies to bring you JoPro // Charger. I have been a JoPro for about two years now as I represent Jolyn in my paddleboarding and ocean sport. Hailing from the California coast in Coronado, the ocean is my greatest passion as I strive to live a life as close to its rhythms as possible.  


    My love affair with the water started back in the pool in Phoenix, Arizona when I was just 5 years old. I started competing in swimming when I was 7, and I swam all through my school days with the goal to swim for a division I university. I accomplished this when I was offered a scholarship to swim for Rice University in Houston, Texas. It was actually in Texas that I discovered Jolyn! Our swim team at Rice was one of the first teams to start sporting the Jolyn bikinis and onsies. I instantly fell in love with the suits as they were the first cute swimwear that I could actually wear during a practice or even a meet.


    My passion for the water switched from the pool to the ocean when I became a beach lifeguard in Coronado, California where my family was living at the time. Although I grew up landlocked in Arizona, I always felt a strong attraction to the ocean and knew that this was where I wanted to be. When I started lifeguarding I also found my passion for paddleboarding. Most people think of paddleboarding as SUP, but I race on traditional, lay-down paddleboards. This style of paddling was attractive to me because it related directly to lifeguarding as we use paddleboards to make rescues.


    I was right at home as a beach lifeguard on my paddleboard and as my days in the pool ended, I took my competitive side to the ocean. I remember having the goal to paddle the Catalina Channel in the 32-mile Catalina Classic my first year of competitive paddling and through myself into training mode. I ended up winning my first year in 2013 and I was hooked on the sport! The thing I love most about distance paddling is that you end up racing more against yourself and the natural elements of the ocean than any other competitor. The EXPERIENCE of crossing a 32-mile channel is what is most important. I love the challenge of ultra-distance paddling and pushing my body and mind to its limits.  


    Although my environment changed from the pool to the ocean, my swimwear preference remained the same as Jolyn also proved to be the best out there for my paddling and ocean lifestyle!!


    I have been fortunate enough to travel and compete in some amazing places with my sport and represent Jolyn along the way. My most memorable experiences include paddling the Ka’iwa Channel in the Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard Race, representing the USA at the ISA World Paddleboard Champs in Mexico, and living/racing in a year in Australia.


    I also compete in lifeguard competition where I race for my local beach in Coronado and have been able to represent the United States in international competition. I am an avid surfer and when the waves are good my surfing becomes my priority. In addition, I love strength training in the gym and also flexibility training through my yoga practice.


    I am currently in intense training mode for the 2016 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships which is in about three weeks on July 31. This will be my second crossing as I competed and won my division in 2014. I am looking forward to another amazing year in Hawaii and cannot wait to share this experience on the blog! I have been working with Jolyn in designing my outfit for Molokai 2 Oahu as feeling good (and looking good) in my apparel is a priority for me in a 6-hour race!


    Welcome to my life and I cannot wait to share my adventures with my Jolyn family!!


    Stay tune for part 2 of my Pilot…


    XOXO Charger


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