On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
Stephanie Gilmore was just 10 years old when she first started surfing. Within a few years, the Australian professional surfer was entering world tour events as a wild card competitor. She won her first world champion title in 2007 as a rookie — she took a day off from high school to compete in the event.
“I remember sitting at recess with my friends laughing and going, ‘Can you imagine if I won?’” she recalled in an interview with InStyle about winning the 2007 Women’s ASP World Tour. “I ended up beating all of my heroes.” Since then, she has won it six more times — in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018.
Going into the ocean or riding a wave, the power of that action, there is nothing else you are thinking of because you have to be completely present. Even the timing – you are reading where the waves are coming, just feeling the salt water, the temperature change on your skin, little things like that make you feel right where you should be. It’s meditative; it’s a rejuvenating feeling, and pure joy, really. When I look at the surf, it makes me smile.Stephanie Gilmore on pay equality, breaking records and empowering young women | Vogue
In addition to her multiple titles, the seven-time world champion has starred in a feature-length documentary titled Stephanie in the Water, qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and is currently the top athlete on the ROXY Surf Team.
However, for all her accomplishments on the water, Gilmore’s most impactful achievement to date has been her fight for equal pay between males and females in the surfing world; a sport notorious for their history of sexism and inequality.
For instance, in 2018, the men’s winner of the Gold Coast pro received $100,000, while the women’s winner was paid $65,000. Even when it comes to surfing conditions, the better waves are reserved for men. “If the waves are really good, then they put the men on, and if the waves aren’t so good, then they put the women on,” Gilmore explained to ELLE.
That same year, the Australian surfer worked directly with the World Surf League (WSL), and in September it was announced that male and female winners would receive an equal amount of prize money. Gilmore also won the championship that year as well.
But I think that’s the coolest thing about sport – our platform and our finances are basically public knowledge, because the prize money is public. So to have that standard it’s easier to show people right here, right now, let’s have the men and women standing on stage together with equal prize money. I always thought sport could have that power to set the standard and help change the mind-set of other industries.Stephanie Gilmore on pay equality, breaking records and empowering young women | Vogue
Stephanie Gilmore’s training routine & diet
On a typical day, Stephanie Gilmore’s routine is largely governed by the surf. She wakes up at around 6am in her Malibu home and the first thing she does is drink a big glass of water and check out the waves. Before hitting the water, she’ll do a light warm-up of squats, push-ups and twists to activate the key muscle groups for surfing.
“Surfing is very much an all-round fitness, which is what’s great about it,” she said in an interview with Irish News. “Core strength is important, and the best way I’ve found to activate and develop that is Pilates. Upper-body strength is also important for paddling.”
Gilmore will usually spend 30-40 minutes for her morning surf, but if the waves are really good, she’ll keep it going for a couple of hours. Afterward, she’ll head home for breakfast. During a 2017 interview with body+soul, she described a typical eating day.
I start the day with a smoothie, greens, banana, coconut water, dates, that kind of thing. Then after a surf, I’ll have eggs and avocado on a sourdough or with quinoa. Lunch I try to have a salad with protein, something fresh and colourful. And dinner is sautéed veggies, rice and a nice piece of freshly seasoned salmon. Something like this. I snack throughout the day with nuts and yoghurt, or crudités and hummus. I also love a small double shot cappuccino in the morning and a glass of red wine or dark chocolate at night. Always striving for balance.What a six-time world champion surfer eats in a day | body+soul
When it comes to her training routine, Gilmore likes to supplement her time in the water with gym sessions. She spends Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays in the gym with her personal trainer Nam Baldwin, where they work on plyometrics, martial arts, and balance work. Baldwin also incorporates mental challenges into his training. “For example, he might have me doing squats while catching a ball but, as he throws the ball, he’ll tell me to dodge it, or catch it, or jump over it,” Gilmore explained.
In addition to her time in the surf, Gilmore also spends a lot of time swimming laps in the pool. “I’ll swim laps – some while breathing, others while holding my breath,” she told Women’s Health. “It gets my heart rate up and helps me prepare for the wipe out in surfing, when suddenly you’re under water and can’t breathe but, despite the adrenalin, need to stay calm and relaxed.”
As much as she physically works on becoming a better surfer each day, Gilmore is also big on improving her self-care and mental wellbeing. She likes to incorporate breathwork into her daily routine — “even if it’s just five minutes, I’ll breathe and think about where the oxygen is going,” she told ELLE — as well as playing the guitar, and practising meditation.
So much of my training is focused on how to look impressive while riding a wave but my most memorable wave was one when I didn’t do anything – I just cruised along it. Taking time to simply look at a wave and enjoy the moment can be magical.Surf’s Up: Make The Most Of Britain’s Surfing Season With Tips From A Pro | Women’s Health
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