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Why January has been pretty epic

By January 31, 2017 Thoughts
Cornwall palm trees

I usually hate January. It’s so depressing and the weather’s usually varying shades of grey with lots of rain and wind thrown in the mix. I’ve usually failed on all my resolutions by the second week and spend the rest of the month beating myself up.

This one’s been a bit different. Whilst I’m not all smug and saying I’m smashing it (because let’s face it I’m human and everyone has off days), my determination to look after myself more in 2017 has primarily kept me on track.

Here’s a few things that’s helped to keep me motivated and made January pretty awesome…

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A motivational kick up the backside

By October 12, 2014 Surf more

Recently, I have been lacking fitness motivation and I don’t know why. Maybe its because I have had so much going on and things have been a bit crazy. Or because I haven’t surfed for a few weeks, or because I am landlocked…and is all that effort worth it when I surf infrequently?

Maybe it’s because it’s getting cold and dark and I just can’t be bothered to haul myself to the gym. But that’s the worst excuse out of all them – I have got a surf trip in a couple of weeks, I should be fired up!

Maybe I just need to accept that I’m having a blip, stop beating myself up and put that energy into doing something about it.

Pro surfer Lakey Peterson getting some pre-heat tips from coach MIke Parsons. She gets de-motivated from time to time...doesnt she?

Pro surfer Lakey Peterson getting some pre-heat tips from coach Mike Parsons. She gets de-motivated from time to time…doesnt she?

I owe myself

Over the past week I spoke to a couple of surfers who are also feeling de-motivated for different reasons, so I’m not alone which made me feel better. Out of those conversations I learned that even those who live by the coast get de-motivated to surf and keep fit, and that my recent shoulder injury was still playing on my mind despite getting the all-clear a few weeks ago, and undoubtedly one of the reasons for my lack of motivation.

Surfabella gave me two good pieces of advice – 1) set some realistic goals and 2) you never regret a workout but you do regret skipping one. It took me back to last year at the height of my surf fitness. I hated missing gym sessions and felt so much stronger and more energised. And with the recent sudden death of my dad, and my mum’s partner passing away last year after a long illness, the reason for getting fit is not just for the surfing. I owe it to myself to look after my body, be healthy and be as fit and active as long as I can.

Asking for help

I work best with input from others, and tend to get overwhelmed when I try and put together a fitness plan myself. I have scoured the internet for hours finding all sorts of surf specific activities and exercises, but when it comes to mapping it into my week, I end up filling 7 days which is just not realistic or sensible. Plus there’s my swimming lessons to consider and my regular spin class.

So I fixed up a consultation with one of the personal trainers at my local gym and was stoked to learn that she could do sport specific programmes. She listened and completely understood the lack of motivation, the need for a kick up the backside, and what I wanted to achieve. We talked about strength, stamina and balance, all the essential ingredients for surf fitness and was excited when she discussed some very surf specific exercises. She will be helping me build my strength slowly post-injury, as well as looking at nutrition, and what foods to eat pre and post surf.

The impossible dream

During the consultation, I told her about another reason why I wanted to get fit and it was something I had pushed to the back of my mind because I thought it was impossible. I want to get surf fit to surf better, but more specifically, I want to be able to ride a shortboard. I loved riding that longboard earlier this year and the idea of catching loads of waves easily is great, but I struggle to carry my minimal down to the beach…so why would I want to trade that for something even bigger? I have also watched so much of the ASP tour this year and fallen in love with that side of surfing – the athletic manoeuvres of the cutbacks and snaps. I’m not saying I have designs on being able to do stuff like that but to come down quite significantly in board size would be amazing!

Two people have told me that because I am landlocked, I will never be able to achieve this as I don’t have enough regular exposure to the sea. And when someone tells me that I can’t do something, I will do everything in my power to prove them wrong.

Making a start

As the trainer says, it’s not going to be easy and it’s going to be a long road…a marathon instead of a sprint. But if I can do this, and prove to those two people that they said ‘can’t’ to the wrong person, I will be majorly stoked!

I have made a start, and did my first session last week followed by a swimming lesson the next day. I’m aching and have never felt so sore following a gym session. But it’s a start, and that start has created the spark of motivation that I needed. I’m fired up and ready to go, and I will share my progress here over the coming weeks!


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Off balance

By July 20, 2014 Surf more
Reiki for surfing?

Reiki for surfing?

Yesterday I had a reiki session. Reiki is a Japanese technique that promotes healing, relaxation and reduces stress, and I thought it may just help to alleviate some of the pain in my shoulder and neck.

Reiki is based on the idea of an unseen life force energy which flows through us and is administered by laying hands on various parts of the body. If our life force energy is low, we get ill or feel stressed. It can help to restore balance to the bodies energy points or ‘chakras‘, clear the mind and increase energy levels.

Many people are sceptical about reiki, as with a number of alternative therapies. I’m very open minded to stuff like that and I think you have you have to believe in it. Whilst I don’t think it will completely heal my shoulder, it certainly helps me to relax.

At the end of the hour, I was shocked at how much my reiki lady picked up without me telling her in advance. From the heat that radiated from my head, shoulder, knees and upper body, she concluded that I had a skeletal issue and said that the right side of my body (the side of my shoulder injury) was off balance. She picked up on my tension, especially in my head – not surprising with what I have had going in my personal life during the past couple of months.

She gave me a couple of crystals – amethyst for headaches and tension and angelite for reducing pain and inflammation. I will be carrying them around with me and putting them under my pillow at night.

Following the reiki session, I felt relaxed, a bit tired but much more focussed. My tension headache that I woke up with had gone and my shoulder actually feels less sore! I have been thinking a lot about my wellbeing over the past couple of days and starting tommorow, I will be overhauling my diet and revisiting my exercise regime. I have asked for a referral from my GP to hopefully get a scan on my shoulder to find out what’s going on. I have also had a workstation assessment for my posture and have some more intensive strengthening exercises from my physio.

Reiki seems to sit naturally with the spiritual side of surfing as it promotes the body’s healing abilities and what better way to chill out and switch off after a heavy surf session? I have heard a lot about yoga and pilates for surfing but what about reiki and other forms of alternative therapies?

How about you? Have you ever used alternative therapies to help heal physical ailments or promote overall wellbeing? How beneficial did you find them?


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