RaceMill 10Q's w/ Micah Carlson 3X Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Ocean Swim Champ By Racemill Staff // August 1, 2014 Hometown: Long BeachAge: 31Sponsors: Watermans Applied Science Sunscreen, Performance Fitness ConceptsSocial: Instagram - CaptnSpeedo Twitter - @MicahDCarlsonAthlete that inspires you?Just one?! I would have to say the Athlete that inspires me the most today would be my friend Danny Ching. We competed against each other in High School, and then again in Junior College in swimming and water polo. Danny introduced me to Outrigger Canoe paddling and helped me tons with my surf ski paddling. Most people never see the work that world champions put in years before they win a title, I was privileged to be part of some of that training with Danny. His tireless work ethic and commitment to his sports - both Outrigger Canoe and Standup Paddling - is outmatched only by his humble and down to earth nature. Any kid who asks for his autograph will get it, but only after they autograph his hat first!How many years have you been competing?I have been competing in swimming for about 20 years. I started competing in Surf Lifesaving competitions when I was a Junior Lifeguard in LA County about 15 years ago. Watching guys like Craig Hummer, Mitch Kahn, Anthony Vela, Mel Solberg, Jimmy Miller, and Kyle Daniels racing under the lights at the Taplin Relays started a fire inside me to reach that level of competition in the sport. Along the way I have also raced outrigger canoes with Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club (12 years) and Standup Paddleboards (4 years).What fuels your competitiveness?Mostly Nutella and Caffeine....but, really a desire to see how far I can push myself in sport and in life. God gave me gifts and talents, and I don't want to be "that guy" that doesn't put them to use. If I can some it up in 2 quotes: "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." ~Steve Prefontaine. "Good better best, never let it rest, until your good is better, and your better is best." ~A saying that my Mom taught me when I was a kid that I have carried with me everywhere i have travelled.Weekend trip... where to? what do you bring? Your car, your gear. Itemize it!South to San Onofre. My wife Carly and toys, toys, toys....err...training equipment. Surf boards [6' Wheatley, 9' Girlstick], paddleboards [10'6 JM, 12' Bark "Gair"], SUPs [10'6 404 Floaters] and Hippostick paddle, a surf ski [Dolphin Spec or Fenn Elite Ultd], fins and a mask, ERO Portable Shower....anything to play on and in the water. All loaded into the trusty '10 Ford F150, and off we go.Lone wolf or training companion? why?Both. I love being, and having, a training partner. Accountability, drive, and sharing the mental load of a training cycle is always easier with someone else. I have had to train mostly on my own for Surf Lifesaving events based on schedules and the seasonal nature of the sport in the USA. I believe a balance of both makes for a good approach.Pinnacle racing moment so far?Have to give 2 for this...Competing in the 2008 Coolangatta Gold Surf Lifesaving Endurance race in Australia. Representing the United States at the Lifesaving World Championships in 2010 and 2012. Two of the biggest stages in Surf Lifesaving and I am honored to have been a part of them.What are you training for now?Right now, I am training to race in the Catalina Outrigger 9man race this September. I will be racing with Team Malolo Taco, a small group of Ocean Lifeguards within Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club.Do you have a dream race you want to create?YES! I have 2...I want to create a Coolangatta Gold-type race here in the USA. It is a phenomenal Lifesaving Endurance event and i would love to spawn something like it here...4-6 hours of multi-discipline mayhem! The 2nd is an ultra-endurance paddling challenge, going from Catalina to Coronado Island in San Diego. I want to create this event to raise funds and awareness for Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS), the Navy Seal Foundation and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.