Women Making Waves: Natalie Fox
Name – Natalie Fox
Age – 34
Location – Cornwall
Occupation – Surf, SUP and yoga instructor
Nat, you’re a Roxy Fitness Ambassador, Ocean Activist, SUP and yoga instructor, how did you get involved with the surfing?
I originally grew up landlocked in the Midlands, and when I finished Uni, headed straight for the coast and never looked back! I fell in love with surfing, with the sea and with visiting different cultures and lands. I’ve travelled all over the world on missions to surf epic point breaks, practice yoga with Indian gurus and protect minke whales in Antarctica.
How do you fit your life around the waves?
I’m very lucky that I’m currently working freelance and am not too tied down so if the waves are good I can go in. I’m working on different beaches all summer and there’s always an option to grab a quick surf – I love the fact I get to enjoy a range of diverse waves available on the North Cornish coast. Basically, I want to surf when its good so I’m keeping September and October pretty free to check out Spain and Portugal. Surfing’s about being flexible and going with the flow so my life definitely revolves around it and I have embraced the concept of shifting with the seasons. I’ve experienced “van life” which was awesome but I’m studying a Masters in Conservation next year so I’ll be looking for more of a base soon, somewhere hopefully with epic waves.
So what are you up to at the moment?
I’m currently living in Cornwall where I’m running a weekly SURF FLOW yoga classes in Newquay. I’d love to see lots more surf girls and help them improve their quality of surfing through yoga. I’m also running SUP YOGA classes in St Ives which is a great way to combine the strength and flexibility training of yoga with the unpredictability of the ocean. I also help run detox retreats in Jersey, Channel Islands called DRIFT (with Belinda Baggs in September) and teach energetic online classes with KaliMukti online. I have been an avid reader and contributor for Surf Girl Magazine for over 10 years and still absolutely love it!
What got you to where you are now, has it been an easy road or have you had challenges along the way?
Hmmm I guess a mix between luck and determination got me here! I took my first lifeguarding course back in 2004 when I first moved to Newquay and failed miserably. But I started surfing every day, began training, took up yoga and a few years later passed no problem. Each year I renew it, I’m given a chance to remember how far I’ve come. It’s important we all appreciate how we’ve managed to work through hurdles and give ourselves a little pat on the back. I’ve most definitely experienced big challenges too – emotionally mostly, and because I’m rather naive and sensitive – but that’s part of life, taking the rough with the smooth and learning to find inner strength and discernment. I’m so grateful for those difficult times because they have taught me how to deal with the heavier issues of life as well as quantify what’s important to me. They put things into perspective and have made me who I am today. Being healthy, independent, compassionate, having self esteem, being present, believing in myself and knowing I’m worthy are qualities I have learnt to cultivate through times of heart ache and break, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve also learnt to be vulnerable and trust others, because the world can sometimes be a lonely place and finding your tribe brings so much joy.
What’s the hardest lesson that you’ve learned whilst following your passions?
That not everything comes to you when you want it, but most often it happens when the time is right. I have found that sometimes it’s hard to accept when things don’t go your way, but as soon as we attach to outcomes thats when we get hurt. And I guess being hurt is ok too, as we all heal, and its important to give yourself time for healing, whether its physical injuries or emotional issues. Also, if you find what’s important to you and pursue that, it might not always be the easiest route. People may not support you, or understand you or encourage you, but life is short and if you do what other people suggest, want, insist you will only feel short changed. Because one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt is we’re not here to be anything other than ourselves. To explore and express who we truly are. That’s super liberating and relieving at the same time, I really don’t have to be anything other than who I am!? Phew!! I can just follow my own dreams and force my own path in the world?! Awesome!!
Whats the best piece of advice that anyone has ever given you?
Don’t worry about it. Literally, about anything. Worrying is pointless. It drains energy. And we need energy to take action, which is ultimately a much more efficient way of dealing with problems. I have been prone to anxiety in the past and it was a vicious downhill spiral. Obviously be thoughtful and kind, but don’t sweat the small stuff. It is as simple as letting go of worrying thoughts. I find the best way for me to practice this is to walk (to expend some of the nervous energy) and then sit in nature (relax), after about 10 minutes I find a peaceful calm and have forgotten about what I was worrying about in the first place!