Professional Surfer

The Inertia

When it comes to fitness, I basically go and do the actual things. I surf all the time. I freedive a ton. I do swims and beach runs…but I know I’m in a unique position to where I have the free time because my living is being in the water. So I don’t expect that everyone can do that.

Surfing is the best training for surfing.

I can’t spend a lot of time in gyms. People might tell you, “Do this, this, and that,” and I get really bored in gyms. I want to be out in nature, I want to do things in the ocean.

Whether it’s working on your fitness, exercising under controlled conditions, or doing breath-holding exercises, a big part of this, for me at least, is that, yes, you do have to recover. You don’t need to go to muscle failure every workout, but I know for myself that I need to push myself in a way to where I hit that point of extreme discomfort and really, really wanting to give up.

Push yourself to extreme discomfort while training in order to become more accustomed to discomfort.

To me, it becomes more of a mental exercise than a physical one. The body is facilitating my mental exercise at that point. I want to make a highly uncomfortable place my home. I want to walk around the house with the lights on and know the groundwork in a controlled environment so that I can do the same navigation when the lights go out. If I’m going to go willingly expose myself to something that’s inherently dangerous, I need to know what the floorplans look like before I go there.

You have to have your ducks in a row as far as physical fitness goes because no matter what your mind is doing, your body will call your bluff if your body is not in physically adequate condition.

Learn to push yourself, keep calm, and manage fear in heavy surf with Mark Healey’s Guide to Heavy Water. Enter code INERTIA10 at check out to save 10 percent.

Mark Healey riding down the face of a wave.

In big waves, the body is facilitating my mental exercise at that point. I want to make a highly uncomfortable place my home. Image by Tim McKenna.

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