elite ambassador and big wave surfer: jamie sterling
posted: May 23, 2014
Surfers, as the story goes, are pretty carefree. Laidback. Maybe a bit aimless, even.
No one ever told that story to Jamie Sterling.
At 5:30am on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii, Jamie’s already up to check the waves. If they’re good, he’s out there for the first of multiple surf sessions that day. If not, he’s off to the gym or yoga. Then he’ll check the waves again. Somewhere in between he’ll throw back a superfood protein shake and something heartier from his kitchen, which is stocked with organic, locally-grown foods for his Paleo diet.
The whole time, Jamie has as eye on global weather maps in case a storm pops up in Ireland, or Mexico, or Chile…South Africa, Tahiti, Australia, the Great Lakes—all places he’s travelled to surf. He’s even flown to China to ride river waves through one of its capital cities.
Jamie rides waves for a living. Really big waves, usually. And that, if you want to live to do it twice, calls for the preparation and training of a true athlete. So while Jamie’s a laid back kind of guy, he’s a long way from that lazy surf stereotype of the old days.
“I just know how blessed I am to have the lifestyle I have,” says Jamie. “I don’t take it for granted. So I just get up and do everything I can do to make myself the best big-wave surfer I can be.”
And that means focus and dedication. Early to bed, early to rise. The waves he rides can break a man, so Jamie’s workouts have to be just as punishing. “But I enjoy training a lot, so there’s not much that I don’t like,” he says. “I’m a full addict.”
Which also means doing his own thing a lot of the time, because not too many surfers can (or want to) hang on Jamie’s level. “I’m kind of a loner,” he admits. “There’s just not a lot of guys who are that dedicated to training every day. When the waves are good we’re all hanging out because we have this common interest, which is surfing. But when the waves are bad I’m just on my own program.”
The cornerstone of that program is yoga, which of course makes any athlete better, but it’s literally vital for Jamie. The breathing and meditation parts of his practice may well keep him alive out in the water when he’s getting held under by a 30-foot set.
“During the breathing exercises you practice clearing your mind, right?” he says. “That teaches me to relax and to be ‘not there.’ Like, when you’re meditating you want to think about nothing. And that’s the same when you’re under water. You want to distance yourself from the situation you’re in.”
Jamie’s proof that hard work wins every time…even at stuff most guys do to escape hard work in the first place. His approach is different. Tougher. Sweatier. And thanks to that, he’s in the water every day getting paid for his passions.
That’s Jamie’s story, and he’s the one writing it. Who’s writing yours?
For more on Jamie, follow @lululemonmen on Twitter and Instagram. Want even more? Check out our other elite ambassadors, including sky-diver and base jumper Marshall Miller and freeskier Chris Benchetler.