After growing up a keen athlete, equestrian and then in turn an aspiring dancer / performer I never thought at 21 years old I would be halted in my tracks. After combating glandular fever and various other viral illnesses in my youth, I became unwell enough in 2012 with Chronic Fatigue and undiagnosed Coeliac’s Disease that I had to leave work and focus on my recovery. Having always been incredibly active this was no easy feat. Fast forward a year or two and while my physical recovery was well and truly underway and I was able to work again, the toll this had taken on my mental well being had become evident.
It was here that I discovered Kitesurfing, and my love for board based sports. Learning originally in Egypt and relishing in the exhilaration and freedom of the elements, I returned home in pursuit of the wind at Southend beach. English weather being well, English weather, the wind remained consistently inconsistent, meaning I had to find an alternative to my new love. Enter wakeboarding. With skills I had learned from Kitesurfing it wasn’t long until I was up and shredding and loving every minute of it. Despite knowing it is a male dominated sport, I am still so shocked by the lack of female wakeboarders, especially at my local park.
As most board sports are considered to be based on transferable skills I have recently turned my hand (or should I say boots?) to snowboarding and there really is nothing like it. Not to mention I’ve managed to find sports which not only cover sun, wind and snow but have taken me to some of the most beautiful countries I would never have dreamed possible of visiting.
Now, at 25 years old it is without question that I know wakeboarding (and my other boarding), has played a huge part of my recovery. Sure, I still have days where I’m not able to ride as much as I’d like. Or days where my fatigue has flared up and I greet my anxiety like an old friend. But the sport, the people I have met through it and the new found passion for living it has given me has undoubtedly changed my life.
As the saying goes “A life without passion is not living, it’s merely existing”. So go on, find your passion because This Girl Can.