“Pretend that you are 80 years old, and you know, one of those 80-year-olds who are lucky to be in good health. Imagine that you are sitting in a comfortable armchair with a grandchild or two on your lap. One of those grandchildren ask you ‘Grandma, why did you wakeboard? Like really, why did you do it?’. What would you respond? Why do you do it?”
I got this assignment from a very wise sports psychologist when I was going through my injury right before I was allowed back on my board after 14 months off the water. He told me to write it down, everything I could think of, from the immense feeling of pride after winning a contest to the friends I’ve met along the way and to the simple joy of carving through glassy water. I went home and made my list (which i quite long and personal) and one week later we went through it together.
There were two main points that he suggested I write down on a piece of paper and put up on my wall at home:
- The feeling of warm water spraying against my legs.
- The feeling in my belly after I land a new- or old trick perfect.
These are the two most important internal goals and reasons to why I wakeboard. They are so simple and they don’t require anyone else or give me any kind or performance anxiety. When I started wakeboarding again after my injury I had times where I got frustrated that I wasn’t on the same level as right before my accident. “I might as well quit because nobody think I’m gonna make a comeback anyway” were some of the thoughts on my darkest days. Sometimes I felt like people counted me out and their doubt was shining through their eyes. I’d like to say that I was one of those people who’s determination never wavered during my recovery process, and I kinda was… for the first eight months. After it became clear that I needed a third surgery, my motivation acted like a yoyo and some days I felt like Pippi Longstocking while others I woke up as Eeyore the donkey. I think it was during this time I learned the most about myself as I adapted the motto “If your heart becomes tired, walk with your legs, but keep going”. I tried not to think about how I was going to get kicked off the national team or how people thought I was done and gone from the scene. I just kept going to the gym over and over and over again and when I got back on my board I thought back to the reasons why I’m even in this sport. It isn’t because of what other people think of me, not (mainly) about winning medals or traveling the world. Those two simple reasons in my notebook are my main reasons and those are the two reasons I focused on. By doing so I felt joy every time I went out on the water and I kept chasing that feeling of landing new tricks or perfecting old ones. By focusing on my own goals, everything else kinda started falling into place and now we’re here; at the end of my first season back. I am riding on the same level as I was before my injury, a few weeks ago I won my first contest since my surgery and thanks to Slingshot Wakeboards, I just released my very first pro model wakeboard!
I wanted to share this drill with you as I believe it changed the way I look at things. Why do YOU do what it is you do? What will you tell those grandchildren? And is your focus on what others think of you, money or fame? Can you change it to where you’re focusing on only those most important bits, the ones that make it truly worth it. The ones that make you, you.
Soon excited on the 2018 gear and to finally show you the first few images of my brand new Pro Model: The Contrast! It’s based off Dylan Millers, Solo and seriously is the best board I’ve ever had. It was love at first sight whenever I put it under my feet and after presenting my ideas to the amazing artist Zach Johnssen the graphics came out so good! I can’t wait for all of you to get a chance to try it our and let me know what you think. In my opinion its the best looking board in the whole line, what do you think? 🙂
Bonjorno! (Brad Pitt accent in inglorious basterds).
This last week I’ve been in… ITALY!! Together with the Slingshot crew we’ve shot some product videos for the 2018 line and wow am I excited for you to see it! The water here at CableWakepark7 is naturally this blue due to the limestone around the lake and this together with Italian coffee, pizza and pasta has made this trip my favorite team trip yet. It was so good to hang out with the rest of the guys, wake up at 6 am every morning to shoot and dancing barefoot in the sand at the local cable beach party. We also got to spend a day in Venice which was exactly how I’d imagined it. Im so grateful to be back traveling and wakeboarding again! Tomorrow I head to Poland for my first competition back, the World Games! I’ll try and update the blog a bit more once I’m there! Until then, Ciao!
I’ve been getting some questions about how my knee is doing so I figured I’d do another little write-up about it. Let me start off by saying how stoked I am to be back on the water! All in all I feel like a million bucks and I am taking my time getting back to charging it again. Physically, I feel pretty good. I can ride cable and boat again and I am still working on getting my strength back up to 110%. I just need to be careful to not ride too much as my knee tends to get sore if I do. My PT tells me its because I had 3 surgeries during a short period of time so the joint capsule needs some time to recover and therefore gets irritated easily. Basically, I just need to be patient and keep building strength.
My biggest surprise coming back to wakeboarding was the mental aspect. I was sure I was going to feel frustrated of not riding at the same level as I was right before the injury straight of the bat and was sure that my level would be so low. I also thought I was going to be scared of wakeboarding and re-injury. Luckily this was so not the case!
As soon as I got back behind the boat I felt like it had only passed about 2 weeks since my last boat set. I feel like I could go out and do all the tricks I used to do again and the fear is almost none existent. (I think maybe going straight out of Rehab to the O’Neill Hit the Road winch trip without a knee-brace might have helped with that haha). The only part about boat riding I’m not comfortable with yet is landing in the flats as I don’t have the same strength as before. I’ve been taking my time working on building the strength back before getting back into trying my more advanced tricks but in my mind, they feel just like before. I guess we will see in a couple of weeks 😉
I’ve had days behind the boat where I got a bit frustrated and felt like things were never going to work out. I guess this is just natural, I’m only human. One day after a bad set and getting mad at JB for no reason I went home, had some food and went to sleep. I was back to normal again and the next day I had the best set yet. I’m heading back to Sweden in a few days to ride my first contest back: the Swedish Nationals. I’ll keep you posted on how I go 🙂
The second episode was my favorite time on the trip! The DIY challenge, where we each were given €40 in the hardware store to try and build our own wakeboard was so much fun! Also we were hitting up spots in Berlin and Dylan almost got in trouble with the local police riding one spot in the heart of the city. Check out all the action and let me know which wakeboard you think was the best!
How to make sure you’re the first on on when the cable opens? Sleep in the car! We parked the van at BSR this weekend and besides hitting up the cable we got to join Round III Media in the making of their next video. I felt like I was a part of one of those american beer commercials. There were music, people flipping off a diving board, jetski’s, girls in bikinis waving an american flag, pit bikes and a helicopter. Stay tuned for this one, I can’t wait to see how it turned out!
My knee is loving the cable riding and I have already started learning rail hits that I didn’t know how to do before my injury. Before I used to focus a lot on kickers and as I am trying to ease back into it, I’ve been given the opportunity to work on rails. Now we’re heading back to Austin to get back behind the boat again as I have the World Games coming up in about a month!
Hi “y’all” !
I can’t express how happy I am to be back in Texas and back wakeboarding “for real” again. I have some strength to build back up but all in all I feel way better than I thought I would after 12 months off the water! After an injury like mine it’s important to keep up with your rehab routine even as you get cleared to do what you love. I have been lucky enough to work with the best in the business back home in Sweden and the physiotherapists at Bosön have created a custom program which I follow. It consists of two full rehab workouts a week and three shorter ones which I do after wakeboarding. Along with cardio bike-rides and wake boarding I hope that I’ll be back to full strength in no time!
The hardest part for me is actually slowing down and resting which is as important as all the workouts. I learned the hard way that if you don’t let your body rest continuously you risk getting injured. So today is one of those days where I’ll be spending almost all of it in my p-jays, sipping coffee and getting back on top of my computer work.
Just thought I’d catch up and if you want to check out the workout wear I’m wearing, its Aimn Sportswear, created by my buddy Tecla!
Photos: Stefan Eigner
Can not wait to show you what we got up to on our 10 day road trip through Germany with Team O’Neill! The first episode explaining what it was all about will drop next week but I can tell you I’ve never done anything quite like this.
I got cleared to start wakeboarding after my multiple knee surgeries about 2 days before this trip so I was being a little rusty and cautious with my riding. Winch is pretty gnarly as the spots are usually concrete and if you mess up, things can go bad, but I was stoked to give it a go and to hang out with the crew. My knee is feeling better every day now, maybe I should write another blog post explaining what happened with my injury but the story is too long to explain here. Either way, I was over the moon just being back on my board, eating nutella with the boys and watching them hit some insane spots! Keep your eyes peeled next week!
Excited to have gotten the opportunity to talk about equality in sports with Swedens largest sports-newspaper! Read the interview digitally here (if you speak Swedish): http://www.aftonbladet.se/a/Jd7eJ
This is for the girls who are told they can’t.
For the girls who’ve been told they can’t spin, can’t ollie,
can’t this, can’t that.
Why should we support you?
Why should we recognize your passion, your sacrifice, your dedication?
For the girls who always have to ride last.
This is for the girls who know that riding like a guy is NOT a compliment.
For the girls who know what it feels like to be forgotten and left out.
For the girls who don’t know what’s possible,
And for the girls who do.
This is for the girls who are pushing boundaries
and breaking barriers.
For the girls who have been objectified and reduced to… a body part.
This is for the girls who will shape the next generation.
For the girls who realize it’s time to Change. The. Conversation.
Your insecurity does not bother us and it won’t stop us.
For the girls who will not apologize and, against all odds, will overcome your judgment.
We don’t need permission to change the world.
So remember girls…
When they go low, we go HIGH.
Edited by: Nicola Butler
JB O’Neill / Tyler Hanley / Trever Maur / Aaron Rathy / B Squared Media / James Tyrell / Wilfried Rick / Sean Kilgus / Charles White / Clack Audiovisual
Crazy week!! Thank you everyone who took a stand with me against the sexism in wakeboarding! Especially thanks to Wake Sista and Still stoked! Can’t wait to see how things plan out and I’m overwhelmed by the love and respect both male and female riders have shown this week! It’s all about the love! Like the love I felt during this photoshoot with Tyler Soden!
Can’t wait for this summer!
When I was fourteen years old my dad bought me my first Wakeboarding Magazine. I had just started wakeboarding and I read that thing cover to cover, completely amazed by the crisp photographs of these athletes going bigger than I though was possible. Those athletes quickly became my heroes and I could not wait to grow up and be just like them. After waiting carefully each month by the one shop in Sweden that sold international magazines and paid the $10 for each new copy of Wakeboarding Mag the first thing I would do was to flip through the pages, searching for the female riders. And there they were! Leslie Kent, Cathy Williams, Will Christien, Amber Wing and my biggest shero, Dallas Friday. My heart would fill up with pride that those girls were out there and in my eyes, their pictures were even better than the guys!
Now, 10 years later, I know what it is like to be amongst the top Women in wakeboarding. I compete against my sheroes and I’ve worked with several of the photographers taking those beautiful and crips photos. I work with some of the biggest brands in the industry and I compete in world events. Unfortunately the life of a professional female wakeboarder isn’t at all what I imagined it would be.
In my career I’ve been faced with events I was not ready to face. I was so excited to be doing what I love and so sure that if I just changed one way or the other, I would get all the sparkly promises I had dreamt of as a kid. If I could just get a little bit better the magazines would start publishing my photos, the sponsors would sign me with good contracts and the media would start covering my achievements. Any day now! But no, my reality did not turn out that way.
Luckily for me, social media exploded right before my wakeboarding career started and me and my friends could create our own stories. Facebook, youtube and instagram made it possible for us to promote our own personal brands as the magazines would not do it for us. The amount of women getting published kept on dropping and contests like ”Miss Wakeboarding” where girls were portrayed in their bikini’s and voted on by their looks kept claiming the attention of my beloved industry. That is until Wakeboarding Magazine took responsibility and last year decided to make a change! Besides killing their ”Miss wakeboarding” competition they dedicated a WHOLE ISSUE to the women in wake!! The 14 year old me would’ve been dancing down the street!! Finally the largest magazine in Wakeboarding decided to support the female athletes for real and for that, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you Wakeboarding Magazine.
Women in sports are raised to tolerate being treated differently than their male colleagues. And we happily accept it because that is all that we know. Here is my message to you: It does NOT have to be this way. The thing is WE have to be the change. We have to create the events, we have to write the stories, we have to take the photos and we have to stand up for ourselves. In these digital days we all have the power to make our voices heard and it is now more important than ever for companies to keep their following happy. Words like ”prosumers” are being frequently used in marketing and shows us just how much power consumers really have.
The change is just within our reach and with the help of good people in companies working for fair sponsor deals and equal media coverage we will get there! And the good people are out there, we just need to help them to CHANGE THE CONVERSATION.
So I’ve been getting some questions about why I’m not wearing a knee brace after my ACL reconstruction. This is because, together with my PT and my surgeon, I’ve decided to try and get back on the board without needing one. This means my recovery time will be slightly longer than but in the end I want to be trusting my body 110% before getting back into competing and to me a knee brace is a giant “this is not strong” sign. (Of course this might not be the case for other people, I’m simply talking about me and my own body here). My PT supports my decision and when I asked my doctor I got the reply “a knee brace? What? You don’t need a knee brace, I’ve fixed your knee! It’s stronger than your other one!”. 😂 So now it’s time to spend a few more weeks in the gym in Sweden and finish up with my rehab as well as my university studies. So happy to prepare for the 2017 season!
What did your doctor/PT tell you about knee-braces? How come they are so common in Wakeboarding but not in other extreme sports, like skiing for example?