Body Image: How Surfing Helps
I have not met a single person whose life has not been changed by trying the amazing sport of surfing. For some (like myself), it has completely changed my life and forms the basis of nearly every decision I make. It is my job, my passion and my lifestyle.
Some of us may work in industries which leave us counting down the days until we get to escape the big city on a Friday afternoon, and exchange the sounds of sirens for that of the sea. Others may have the privilege, or have turned their lives upside down to be able to live near the coast and clock up regular surfing hours. Regardless of why or how many times a week or month we are able to get in the water, there is an undeniable love and addiction for the ocean… and we need to get our fix.
As a celebrity fitness trainer and surf coach, I have had the privilege of training and teaching so many people how to surf over the years. I have gotten to know and been inspired by so many people on a personal level. One of the biggest barriers to participation in sport, which I have encountered is body image. This includes both men and women…but lets stay on topic here;)
I rarely ever hear women use words like ‘beautiful’, ‘confident’, ‘strong’, ‘ athletic’, ‘capable’ and ‘unique’ to describe themselves.
Sometimes its not even what is said, its what is not said, their body language and lack of confidence when speaking about themselves. Everywhere we look, everyday – whether on social media, magazines, newspapers, reality TV, you name it, we are faced with such a variety of images, some of which are real and others that are not. I think some of us are not even sure how to differentiate between the two any more.
We are all so incredibly unique but few of us actually realise it and truly embrace this. We keep trying to conform to how society tells us we should look, whether in a bikini, wetsuit, in the gym or even when we wake up!? I believe that as humans, we will always want to strive to be better and to do better. The question is when will we stop trying to compete with what society tells us is ‘better’ and just work on being the best ‘YOU’ that you can be.
Make a decision to wake up everyday and embrace life. To do the things that you actually want to do and not because you think you should do it. Don’t over think everything… grab a surf board, put on that wetsuit that you ‘think’ you don’t look good in and learn how to surf. Work out in whatever clothing you feel comfortable in, get fit, build your confidence, meet like minded people, unlock your true potential and set yourself free from this daily self imprisonment that holds so many of us back from doing what we truly want to do.
I do believe that there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance and finding the right balance between this is life changing.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to learn how to be truly happy within yourself. Learning how to love and deal with your insecurities, which every single one of us have by the way. Recognising your strengths and working on those parts of you which you feel lack confidence.
It may sound strange to people who have never tried the sport before, but for me surfing has the power to change your life. Without even realising it you develop another level of independence, you keep putting that wetsuit on and repeating the same movements over and over again in an effort to get better, all the while getting fitter. You even start thinking about cross training to keep you fit on the days you cant get surf.
Your once ‘sun holiday’ now becomes a ‘sun and surf’ holiday and you find that you are meeting people from all over the world, who share the same love for the ocean as you do. Surfing has this amazing knock-on effect, which completely opens your mind up to the endless possibilities in life.
Having experienced everything I have through sport and surfing I decided to share this with others and set up Ohana Fitness and Surf.
We operate in the UK and the Canary Islands, offering surf and fitness holidays on the beautiful island of Fuerteventura. I also work closely with some of the best surf schools in Devon and Cornwall to bring you same experience during the summer months with my All Girls Surf and Fitness weekends.
I am really excited to announce that I will be hosting the first of my All Girls Surf and Stretch weeks for 2016, on the sunny (and wave rich) island of Fuerteventura,Canary Islands between March 5th-12th /6th-13th for beginner to intermediate surfers.
I cant wait to share some waves and laughs with all you beautiful ladies! Full details can be found here ohanafuerteventura.com
Step out of your comfort zone this year…explore, travel, surf more, fall in love with fitness and most of all learn how to love and embrace every single part of you…and pass it on!