Let’s go outside!
When the summer heat hits, gyms and jogging paths empty out. Garance Doré, Bianca Cheah and Ben Gorham share their love stories with the sports you should exercise this summer.
Garance Doré is a photographer, blogger, illustrator and author. During the year that passed, the French New Yorker decided to take breaks from the big city to go surfing. This is how she fell in love with the sport – and why she thinks you should do the same.
”Surfing has always been one of my dreams. I love the philosophy of surfing. The sense of healthiness, of being close to nature and also that idea that you can't control it, just embrace it for the best.
It had always been a dream, but for some reason I never had the chance to make it happen. So last summer, after going through a break-up, I decided that it was not too late – I would just go and do it. Some of my friends were going to Costa Rica and I had heard it was a great spot with easy, soft waves, perfect for beginners.
I took lessons and I learned so much... The first thing being that you don't become a surfer in one week. If I was really committed, I would have to book another trip as soon as possible.
Surfing is hard. To get to that easiness of movement, you have to build strength, knowledge of the waves and also the surfers’ codes. It's also very dangerous. People hurt themselves every day. When I realized all that, it almost made me want to quit... But I kept going.
The worst moment came actually a few days later, when my body – and more precisely my rib cage – started hurting like crazy. Apparently, it's part of the deal – paddling on your board will do that to you. And when you do surfing, you paddle, a lot.
The last day of that trip, I caught my very first wave. An amazing, exhilarating feeling of freedom and harmony passed through me. I had bruises on my body and my ego (and also some new muscles!!!), for falling so many times. But it was totally worth it if it was to lead to that...”
GARANCE DORÉS BEST SURF SPOTS
- NOSARA in Costa Rica – the waves are mostly friendly and the sunset surfing is to die for. Also, the water is warm! If you're looking for a camp, I can recommend Surf Simply. They are amazing.
- MONTAUK – it's a tougher one and a very crowded spot, but pretty cool atmosphere in the very early morning. And very close to New York!
- BIARRITZ in France – I've never actually surfed there, but all my French surfer friends spend their summers there. They can't stop talking about it. My next destination.”
GARANCE DORÉSTOP 3 TIPS TO BEING A BETTER SURFER
- Take your time, enjoy the process. We all want to surf like pros, but what you learn and how you learn in your first days will go a long way.
- When in the city, go swim! The paddling part is probably the most exhausting part and it can get the better of you on a day of surfing. So getting ready to have the endurance to paddle is probably the best thing you can do.
- Yoga is amazing for preparing for surfing because it works your arms, your abs but also your balance, a very good skill to have on a board…
HOW TO BE A YOGI
If health and fitness is an addiction, yoga is Bianca Cheah’s drug of choice. This is why the Australian fitness blogger fell in love with the sport – and her best advice for you to get better at it.
“Yoga grounds me and helps to relieve my stress levels. I also love it because no other form of exercise has given me the toning that yoga has. I went through a bad patch in my life and my friend was a yoga teacher who took me under her wing and helped me through life. Ever since that day I first practiced yoga, I walked out feeling like I was on top of the world. Yoga raises your endorphins and creates those happy feelings, and I’m one of those people who could practice yoga all day long just because of how it makes me feel. So nourishing for the mind and body!
Practicing yoga in the sun means you’re getting your daily hit of Vitamin D, which is essential for the body. Not only do you have a beautiful location to immerse yourself in, but also feeling the earth beneath your feet is super beneficial. This is called earthing and it has been claimed that the earth’s electrons can boost your immune system, help you sleep better and reduce inflammation in your body. But what I believe is that going barefoot outdoors during practice is a simple way to reduce stress and help you to be more mindful of the present moment.”
BIANCA CHEAH’S TOP THREE TIPS FOR HOW TO BE A BETTER YOGI
- Be mindful of everything you do.
- Learn to focus on your breathing techniques.
- And alignment is key when in poses! Listen your teacher to avoid injuries.
GAME, SET, MATCH
Ben Gorham is the founder of Byredo and has been dubbed ‘The Prince of Perfume’ by the New York Times. When he isn’t creating new scents in the lab, he spends his time on the tennis court – where he prefers to play singles, since he hates sharing.
“When I quit basketball about 15 years ago, I chose tennis because it felt like it was something I could play for a very long time. I love an early morning match with my friend Niklas. We usually play at Skeppsholmen [in Stockholm], which is quite amazing because the view is spectacular but you’re right in the centre of the city. It’s one of Sweden’s first outdoor tennis courts, it was built by King Gustaf V.
WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLAYER?
“[Novak] Djokovic, partly because he’s Serbian.”
CAN YOU GIVE THREE TIPS ON HOW TO BECOME A BETTER PLAYER?
“Take one lesson then practice, practice, practice.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE EXERCISE?
“I find a lot of men in my age struggle with a tightened achilles tendon so I try to do a lot of calf raises to make sure I don’t injure myself.”
WHAT DO YOU WEAR TO THE TENNIS COURT?
“It’s one of the few times that I get to wear all white.”
For more Ben, follow @bengorham on Instagram.