Please give us a rundown of who you are and what you do?
Hey, I’m Billie! I am a New Zealand representative SUP surfer, water sport enthusiast and owner of Studio Muse. Studio Muse is an independent media house capturing motion and photography, based in Mount Maunganui. We work with brands and businesses to authentically tell their stories.
Photo by Pablo Franco
You have recently returned home after competing in the ISA SUP surfing world champs in France, congratulations! What was your highlight?
Thank you very much! Yes, it was an amazing event and time away, this was my third ISA event, also competing in El Salvador and Puerto Rico. My goal was to make the podium this year, having previously placed 10th and 8th, so coming home with the bronze medal has been an incredible feeling! I feel so grateful to be apart of the SUP and paddle board community, being away with such multitalented ocean athletes and likeminded people is very motivating. I have come home feeling very inspired.
What was your hardest moment, and how did you deal with it?
The pressure to perform in a 20 minute heat is always daunting. There were a few very close heats in super tough conditions, where I really had to keep my composure and not let the pressure get to me. One of my heats, I caught my last wave in the final 5 seconds before the buzzer and knew I needed a good score to progress, luckily I managed to do that!
Growing up competing in surfing, my nerves often got the better of me and I couldn't perform under time pressures. Over the past few years, this has been a big focus in my training. Breath work and experimenting with ways to handle my stress and stay calm has made a massive difference. I was really proud of how composed I stayed and felt I surfed really smart heats, which definitely contributed to my result this year.
How did you look after your physical and mental wellbeing during your time in France and when travelling? Do you have a routine?
Diet and quality sleep are definitely the two key things you need to maintain when traveling and competing. I try to create a routine as soon as I get to a new place, getting back into a good sleep pattern and eating as close to my usual diet as I can. I found that cooking my usual meals and avoiding eating out too much really helped me. Eating high fibre, high protein meals and staying hydrated are my key things I stick to! I have a pretty good mental health tool box to keep me healthy and happy when away from home. Making time to journal, stretch and take time for some intentional breathing really helps.
Photo by Sean Evans
What are your top 3 recovery tips that you live by pre, during and post World Champs?
- Hydration!!!! I cannot explain the difference you feel in your body when you are hydrated. I used to be terrible at this, being out in the sun all day competing. Now I know how much better you can feel and perform, I am so in tune with when I am getting dehydrated!
- Eating high protein/high fibre meals and keeping the gut happy! This is where the Mitchells products are my go to.
- Creating time to rest your mind and body! Competing is mentally and physically so stressful on the body, post competing I like to do active recovery but take it slow with lots of stretching and breath work to slow down and recover.
How do you juggle surfing, work with Studio Muse and down time?
I am so grateful to work full time for myself from my office at home, with the ability to have a flexible lifestyle. Although there is a lot of added stress and pressure running your own business, I thrive in being able to create my own routines to utilise my time and be in the water as much as possible! I find that having two big focuses actually helps. They each give me confidence and feed into each other. Im a nerd for to-do lists and routine haha, it's definitely full on but I love it and it keeps me on my toes!
What does post World Champs life look like for you? What’s next?
Theres definitely a fair bit on haha! This time of year leading up to Christmas is always busy in content creation, I have lots of exciting projects on the go so that will keep me busy.
Outside of Studio Muse, I am back in training mode for the NZ Surfing and SUP Nationals. I will be competing in surf and SUP, with this event being qualification for the next ISA World SUP Championships. After getting bronze at this years worlds champs I will definitely be hungry for the gold medal, so this will be a big focus for the year.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received that has helped shape who you are today?
I have been influenced by many inspiring people, but a quote that I live by is; Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
I try to be authentically me and play my own game.
Finally, what’s your favourite Mitchells Nutrition product and how do you enjoy it on the daily?
Chocolate Bone Broth Protein! I admittedly have a sweet tooth, so this protein blended and heated makes the best hot choccy for an after dinner treat!
Photo by Pablo Franco
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