For about as long as there has been surfboard there’s been pro surfers. And for just as long, it’s been at the very top of any list of the world’s best jobs, right?
Not only do you live an endless summer, but your ‘office’ is some of the planet’s most beautiful and exotic locations. In fact, if you forget the fact that your most annoying colleagues have the occasional shark sighting out of it, and it’s damn-near perfect.
But what if you suddenly can’t do what you love? It’s hard to work from home when your office is the ocean, and so being unexpectedly grounded for more than a year is a bitter pill to swallow.
Just ask pro surfer and Newcastle local Ryan Callinan, who spends his days to competing at some of the most stunning beaches on the planet in surf competitions. Until one day he suddenly wasn’t.
“As a pro surfer, I spend more than half of the year travelling to different event stops around the world and I’ve missed that for the last year,” the 28-year-old surfer tells Health Hacker.
“Being home has been great but travelling on the tour is one of the best parts of my job. I definitely miss travelling to certain places that I’ve been going to for years now and hope it’s not too far off when I’m back at some of those spots.”
Like for most of us, though, the weirdness of the past year or so has been an opportunity for a little self reflection, with border closures and work from home orders gifting all of us the time to finetune those parts of our lives that we might normally ignore.
For Callinan, that’s been sharpening up his sleeping skills. Yes, it sounds like the easiest thing in the world — we all do it every night, right? — but the difference between sleep and quality sleep is enormous.
“I’m really focused on improving my sleep quality and general recovery,” Callinan says.
“I’m pretty happy with where I’m at physically and mentally but feel good sleep and recovery is a great way to finetune these areas.”
Despite the enforced down time, Callinan says the change in routine has allowed for some valuable life lessons to bubble up, too.
“Everything that’s happened has taught me to really appreciate what we have and I’ve been learning to slow down,” he says.
“It has been a great opportunity to live simply and enjoy what my hometown and country have to offer. Being present was a really special part of 2020 for me.”
RYAN CALLINAN ON …
“I like to try and eat a clean, healthy diet. Just keep it fresh and colourful. The five things you’ll always find in my fridge are eggs, avocado, chicken, kimchi and spinach.”
“Surfing is my favourite type of exercise — I always feel better once I get in the water. Surfing is such a unique physical activity and the best way to train for it is by surfing, which suits me just perfectly.”
“I meditate every morning for 10-20 minutes and write something down at some point every night. It’s a great routine for me and keeps me pretty centred.”
“I practice meditation in the morning and try to be as mindful as possible whenever I can. Meditation has become a really important part of my preparation and process when competing, but also just a part of my everyday life.”
“You can’t always control what happens to you but you can always choose how to respond and choose the attitude that you have towards life.”
“Learn to enjoy every part of the process, not just the end result.”
* Catch Ryan Callinan in action on the WSL tour kicking off this April in Newcastle.
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