European ambassador, Chevy Challis, discusses her active summer adventures and fitness routine.
I decided to try surfing this summer and I climbed a lot too. I also did yoga and pole fitness along with regular gym sessions that included balance, strength and cardio training.
Surfing: There’s no better feeling than getting out and sitting on that board in the open waters. It can’t get rough―the salt pulls out all your water and you get dehydrated very fast―and it’s a brutal thing to learn, but it’s also amazing when you start catching your first waves and manage to even stand up a tiny little bit, till it eats you all up again.
The ocean has powers you can’t experience anywhere else. In my opinion surfing is probably one of the most difficult and challenging sports. We are just visitors in the ocean. It makes it a privilege to be able to sit on water and go with the flow; learning how to read the waves coming in and paddling as hard as you can to catch just one wave. You need a lot of time to learn how to surf, patience is key. It’s amazing training, the ocean is so rough, you have to stay on the board without falling off so your body is tensed the entire time. Its an insane back and core workout, plus your shoulders get strong from paddling. Mentally it’s very challenging but so beautiful at the same time.
So let’s go on to the second sport I learned to love this summer, climbing. Climbing is a mix between mental training and strength. Luckily I had a partner I can trust with while I learned new ways to climb and tried more difficult routes. I was basically a beginner but with the right instructions and a good climbing partner it’s an amazing sport. You get hyped by the height and the feeling you can fall down anytime, that’s the adrenaline I love. Your muscles get super strong and lean from climbing and your mind stays sharp also because if you are not focused you are going to fall. That’s an amazing combination. Especially the part about trusting and staying focussed is a brilliant way for me to train my mental strength. To hang on those rock walls and see the world from a different angle, changes your perspective in many ways.
Right, so what else? I train a lot in the gym and do “HIIT” training most of the time. Filled up with some stretching, balance training and of course, strength (Crossfit is also a part of my training).
On yoga: I’m in love with all those Yogis out there. It’s so impressive and (you’ll see as soon as you start doing yoga) you relax more often and cherish every moment a bit more. Its an intense and different training too. Again, lean muscles and balance is the main part of yoga workouts that I love. In doing yoga you feel close to yourself and get a connection with the earth. It feels like being a part of nature, especially if you practice yoga outdoors. You learn to calm down and meditate, perfect mental training for the competitions and runs I focus on during the winter.
Last but not least, I’d like to talk about a sport that gets questioned a lot, pole fitness. It’s probably one of my absolute favorite workouts. It gives you the chance to train like a beast but still feel feminine and beautiful working out. To be able to learn positions and spins on a pole very much comes down to technique, an amazing trainer, and strength. You work every single part of your body, your hands get strong and your calves get shaped. Your core, back, chest, shoulders, legs, … every part of your body gets fit because you have to work with your entire body. Lifting up and stretching out to your toes (just like gymnasts do) is the key to amazing strength and a beautiful body posture. You dance, remember choreographies and it’s a load of fun training with a group of fun girls that love to dance, feel beautiful, strong while working out at the same time.