First, about Mike.

I am a surfer who writes to help my friends learn about Jesus so we can surf together in heaven.

Linked-in highlights my 25 years of experience in Silicon Valley as a sales and marketing professional. Upon leaving Oracle Corporation in 2017 I took a 1-year sabbatical to become a certified New Ventures West Integral Coach® and moved to Trader Joe’s for a final chapter in my career. I like to say that I won the lottery with a beautiful wife of 30 years (Marla) and two incredible children (Marisa and Matthew) who now drag me out of bed to go surfing.

My goal is to offer help, encouragement, and coaching to those who struggle to keep it all afloat in this age of endless opportunity. I have a passion for helping people tackle work/life integration challenges. I launched “Surfing for Balance in Silicon Valley” in 2014 to blog about my drive to stay afloat and that eventually led me to write a book.
Here’s my resume.

Second, about “Surfing in Heaven.

Surfing in Heaven is an upcoming book (2023) that is my story as a surfer finding work/life balance in Silicon Valley by learning to put Heaven first.

The term “Surfing in Heaven” is both a metaphor and a vision for how I invest my time and energy each day. Jesus said it well when he spoke about storing up treasures in heaven rather than investing in what we have here on earth (Matthew 6:19-21). By starting each day with my eternal future in mind, I found myself able to navigate the many work/life balance challenges I face. Heaven is a game changer! As the waves keep coming with increasingly shortened intervals, I have gained a radically new perspective. It is like going back to the 1960s and surfing without a leash. My life is untethered from earthly expectations. I have peace of mind about laying the groundwork each day for my life to come in Heaven.

Third, about this cover picture.

The picture on the cover of surfingforbalance.com is the only picture I have of my dad, Jack B Mulkey, surfing. It was taken at Malibu circa 1949 by Doc Ball. Doc was an early pioneer in surfing photography and was one of the leaders in establishing surfing on the west coast. He helped organize the Palos Verdes Surf Club, where dad often surfed in the late 40s and early 50s. Here is the original photo:


Dad is riding a 10’9″ Bob Simmons Plywood Foam surfboard (called a “Foam Sandwich”). This surfboard was a major breakthrough from the Redwood Planks they had been riding, which could weigh over 100 pounds.  An exact replica of this surfboard sold for $40,000 at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction in 2009.  Dad did not even know this picture was taken but ran across it in a photo album at a party at Doc Ball’s house. As he told me the story, a friend yelled out to him, “Hey Mulkey, check this out, your picture is in here!”.

More on that era at Malibu and “The Greatest Generation”.
Mark Brown Digital Arts did the wonderful recoloring work.

Dad was living out his dream at 89 years young in Kailua-Kona on the big island of Hawaii when he passed away peacefully in his sleep, after spending a delightful Father’s Day with his daughter Terry (see Kona Jack). This website is dedicated to dad for all the wonderful lessons in life I learned from him through the sport of surfing.

Dad and grandson Matthew in front of a Douglas SBD Dauntless aircraft at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor in 2014.

Dad and grandson Matthew in front of a Douglas SBD Dauntless aircraft at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor in 2014 (Dad flew in the gunner position off the USS Saratoga in WWII).

6 thoughts on “About

  1. Mike, What a wonderful blog, you are so blessed and thank you so much for sharing this great story/adventure in lifes journey ….God Bless. Bill Purcell class of 1973

  2. Hi Mike,

    Good talking with you a bit after Road Crew at PBC Palo Alto this morning. After we talked, I opened the Psalms and for some reason began reading Psalm 39, which contains the following verses. I thought they connected well with what you had to say about having an eternal perspective.

    “Show me, Lord, my life’s end
    and the number of my days;
    let me know how fleeting my life is.
    5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
    the span of my years is as nothing before you.
    Everyone is but a breath,
    even those who seem secure. (Psalm 39:4-5)

  3. Hi Mike,

    Fantastic blog… I’m kinda surprise that I don’t think I know you, although you’re about 3 years older than me. I grew up at SanO’ too. My parents, Bob and Babs Fitzgerald, were among the founding members of the club, as well as my Dad being a ski instructor at Mt. Waterman! Charlie French gave me my final lesson at Waterman, when I was 12. His son Scott is one of my best friends (along with Pete Watson, also from Sun Valley, who passed away a few years ago…:( I grew up in Huntington (vs. you in CDM), but the stories are pretty much the same. SanO in the summer and winter weekends skiing at Waterman, with fellow SanO kids: Scott, Kirk Milette, Karen and Traci Peterson, Sam and Shauna Lockett.

    Shawn Fitzgerald

    • Thanks Shawn for your note — GREAT to make the connection!!
      if you don’t mind — send me your email ID. I remember the name “Fitzgerald”, probably from the SanO surfing contest, but don’t think we ever crossed. I was always too focused on Eric Hops, wondering if I could ever surf as good as him on that red of his (and of course, I now ride a red board in his memory… my email: m1mulkey@gmail.com

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