loving courtney
I learned to embrace who I am and what I look like as an athlete. Pic: Steven Lippman/ESPN

Current world ranking leader, Courtney Conlogue has been having a good year taking out Bells and coming runner up in both the Margaret River Pro and Roxy Pro. This week though, the Californian made headlines not through her surfing but as part of the ESPN Magazine Body Issue. I’ve always been a big fan of Courtney. Her dedication and commitment – whether it’s to the waves or to her philanthropic work, is something that inspires me. After an ankle injury in 2014 saw her out of the water and out of contention for the world title, Courtney was philosophical:

You can look at anything as a burden or an opportunity – be down about it or take it in a positive way.

This mentality is again apparent in the ESPN interview where she discusses having to come to terms with her body.

“For me, there was a long time when I was a little self-conscious because I was an athlete.

I didn’t look like what I thought you needed to look like for surfing.

But I learned to embrace who I am and what I look like as an athlete, to be strong about who I am and feel good about what I am. Being a strong woman and being a strong athlete in the water is a good thing.”

I like that I’ve made my body for a purpose.

Courtney on fire at the Fiji Pro. Pic: WSL/Ed Sloane
Courtney on fire at the Fiji Pro. Pic: WSL/Ed Sloane

Surfing around six hours a day and training in the gym up to five days a week has given Courtney a finely tuned body that enables her to be the best that she can be. It’s telling that, in 2016, one of our top athletes feels like she doesn’t fit the mould of what a surfer looks like but hopefully the tide is changing and thankfully we have women like Courtney to continue to inspire us.

Read the full ESPN story here