BG Life´s Sasha Frate interviews Pro Windsurfer Robby Swift!
Robby Swift has been windsurfing since before he could walk. Born in England to a fanatical windsurfer, his father would take him along for the ride since he was only 18 months old. At age 3 Robby was sailing on his own and embarking on a life long journey that would have him chasing wind and wave, instilling a desire since he can even recall being capable of wanting anything, to become a professional windsurfer. Backing him today in his drive and dedication to become world champion are his current sponsors NeilPryde, JP-Australia, Mystic, Gloryfy, Maui Ultra Fins, Hotel Surazo, Hammer Nutrition, and Swox Sun- screen.
Do you have a motto or philosophy you live by that keeps you motivated?
Just living my life in a way that my family would be proud of and trying to spend my time as productively as possible.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in your training or career, and how have you overcome these challenges?
My main challenges have been my injuries. I have suffered 4 major foot and ankle injuries over the past 8 years, and each one kept me off the water completely for around 6 months and set me back a couple of years with my training. They were all hard to overcome, but I never lost my passion for windsurfing, and in the end, the injuries have probably left me more knowledgeable about training and recovery and have given me even more drive to spend my time as productively as possible.
Who has been most influential for you in the success of your career?
My parents first of all, and then one of my best friends and the creator of the brand JP-Australia, Jason Polakow. JP has sponsored me since I was 16 years old, and Jason has helped me with my training and competing, and he has in- troduced me to new wind- surfing locations around the globe since then.
Do you ever break from training? If so, what is a “day off ” like for you? Do you still maintain strict diet and continue to do some degree of activity?
Not really!! Haha. My wife Heidy always tries to get me to do that, but windsurfing is so difficult to train for as you have to rely on conditions so much that if there is wind, I will go windsurfing every day. If there is no wind, then I surf or cycle. I don’t really like having a whole day off as it seems to lower my energy, so I always find something to do. I do try to eat all natural, unpro- cessed foods. I don’t really stay away from any foods in particular, I eat meat, eggs, fish, salad, vegetables, etc. I love pasta, but try not to eat too much of that as it’s good to be light for windsurfing. I think a balanced and varied diet is the best thing you can do, and I drink a lot of water with electrolytes during the day to keep my body hydrated and keep my muscles from cramping.
Can you share one of your favorite meals (or certain foods- like you eat mostly fish or chicken and a certain veggie for example) and a quick fix snack that you consider part of your training diet?
I would say fish and veggies are my favorites. I like baked or roasted egg- plant, carrots, zucchini, etc., and I add quinoa if I want a starchy feeling food (although it isn’t a starch so it is less fattening)! I also like to eat steak once a week and chicken too. Just a good colorful mix of veggies with enough protein for my muscles to recover.
Can you share one of your hardcore workouts you do for training?
I have been doing circuit training recently. That is pretty hardcore. We have 15 exercises that we do one after the other, then have a break for a couple of minutes and repeat 3 times. It’s hard to describe all the exercises, but they range from lunges with shoulder press, to single
leg squats on the Bosu ball, to climbing up and down a 15 foot high rope with just your arms, to long jumps. Everything is designed to use your bodyweight and to give you explosive pow- er and good balance. I don’t like using heavy weights, as my body type gets big really quickly, so I like to stay as lean and explosive as possible. That is different for every person, so you have to do what is right for your body.
Can you share a lighter workout that a person of average fitness level could attempt?
My wife joins me on these workouts, but just does less of each exercise. They are really good exercises that anybody can do and which benefit everybody. Using your own body-weight is really good, as you will never push your- self too far.
Between traveling the world for your career and competitions, and training in a various environments, you seem to have a “world is my playground” sort of approach to fitness being a lifestyle sometimes even creatively finding places and methods to train. Can you share some of the most innovative training you have done?
I actually have to try to simplify things as much as possible. You simply can’t take too much equipment with you, so when I am abroad I usually just swim and jog to keep my aerobic capacity up, and you can always find a tree to hang from to do body weight exercises, and you just need a little open space to do lunges. It’s amazing how little you need to do a complete workout if you have some good basic exercises to do, and wind- surfing keeps you pretty strong, so the best training for me is going windsurf- ing as long as there is wind!
What are your favorite styles of music to listen to when training?
I am really bad with music!! I love listening to music and it really inspires me, but I never download anything and tend to just listen to iTunes radio or Spotify or something. I will choose a band like “Kings of Leon” to start it off, but I love it when I hear new songs that motivate me. I would say light rock going a little bit into pop music is the best for me. I am not into really heavy met- al or anything, but there is a time and a place for everything, and sometimes before a big day or before a heat I like to listen to some heavy music!
If you could inspire people to incorporate one healthy habit into their daily lives, what would it be?How might you suggest incorporating this habit?
I would like to inspire two healthy habits and that would be to eat healthily; no processed foods, as little sugar as possible, lots of water, and at least half an hour of cardiovascular exercise per day. It is so easy to do that, but also so easy not to do it. You just need to put on your running shoes and go for a quick jog as soon as you get up and it is done. But if you miss that morning motivation, it is really easy to slip into laziness and end up not doing it at all. That’s my way of getting it done anyway. I just try to go out and get it out of the way before my mind can start thinking of excuses!!
ROBBY SWIFT´S ONLINE RESOURCES:
Website: Pro Surfer Robby Swift