22, pro­fes­sional surfer and 2020 Olympic hope­ful

Women's Health (UK) - - NAKED - @lucyc­surf

‘I get an im­mense sense of free­dom when I’m surf­ing. I feel very phys­i­cally con­fi­dent out on the ocean: I can put all my train­ing into play and re­spond to the sea in pow­er­ful, fluid move­ments, even in the most chal­leng­ing con­di­tions.

I’m a size eight and 9st 13lb, which is mostly mus­cle – I have strong abs and de­fined shoul­ders. When I was a young teenager, my body was dif­fer­ent from those of other girls my age, which made me feel self-con­scious. But now I see the beauty in my strength.

I’ve been surf­ing since I was 10. My dad and el­der brother Stuart, a for­mer Bri­tish Men’s Cham­pion, taught me to surf when our fam­ily moved to the North Devon coast. By the time I was 12 years old, I was the ju­nior Bri­tish cham­pion, and two years later I was team cap­tain for the un­der-18 girls GB squad. My great­est achieve­ment was be­com­ing the Women’s Open English Surf­ing Cham­pion and winning the UK Pro Surf Tour when I was 19.

Next, I’ve got my sights on the 2020 Olympics where surf­ing will be in­cluded for the first time. Fin­gers crossed I’ll qual­ify and hope­fully en­cour­age more young girls to chase their dreams in sport.

I get up at 5am and surf, for an hour at a time, five or six hours a day. I do yoga two to three times a week to help with bal­ance and mus­cle re­cov­ery. Surf­ing re­quires arm strength for pad­dling but strong quads and thighs are also im­por­tant for gen­er­at­ing speed and power on the waves, so I do re­sis­tance and weight train­ing twice a week as well as car­dio like run­ning and moun­tain bik­ing.

I need a lot of fuel and stick to a diet of veg­gies, meat, pulses and fish. If I’m in need of some energy pre-surf, I’ll grab a healthy snack like a banana and peanut but­ter.

The sea has a way of re­mind­ing you how pow­er­ful it can be – the big­gest wave I’ve ever surfed was three times my height – but I’m ad­dicted to the ocean. My body is my job, so I re­spect my phys­i­cal strength.’

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