By Samantha Levy, SELF magazine
Given the opportunity to train with a professional surfer, most people would immediately say, "Where can I sign up???" My reaction, however, was more like, "Uh, maybe..." Let's just say I'm not exactly a fish-in-the-water type of gal.
That all changed once I met Karina Petroni at Oakley Learn-to-Ride surf camp. Karina is the warm, down-to-earth--not to mention totally gorgeous--surfing pro who at 22 is the highest-ranked American East Coast female pro surfer.
Karina gave me gentle and thorough instructions: The proper technique to paddle out, what to do when you see a wave approaching, how to "snap up," how to stay up once you've gotten there--it's all about staying low, my friends!
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She hardly ever left my side--except of course when I was getting on my feet to ride a wave (yup, I did it!).
So how does this world-class champ stay healthy and glowing when she's not ripping waves? Here are Karina's top 4 stay-fit and beautiful secrets:
1. Drink: Water
"Something our planet cannot live without is something we should most likely not live without either. Growing up, my father always preached to me to drink 7-10 glasses of water a day. Now I try to drink about 3 liters a day!" she says.
2. Eat: The greener the better
"I'm not talking iceberg lettuce! I'm talking about romaine, spinach, kale, and collard greens. The real green stuff, and there are endless options of what you can add to your greens to make for an interesting, healthy meal!" she explains.
3. Sweat sessions: Run/crunch/run (explanation below!)
"As a pro surfer, it's important that I incorporate a lot of circuit training into my regime," Karina says. "The run/crunch/run is something that a friend of mine and I kind of made up as we went along. I usually start out with 40 lunges, (20 per leg) to warm up, and then run in the soft sand on the beach for about a mile and a half (any surface is fine). As you start to feel your body warm up after you start jogging, you're going to drop down and do your first 20 crunches. Continue to drop for crunches throughout the run, so that by the time you've completed your workout you've racked up a couple of hundred! The results are unreal. Keep your tunes pumping and you will have a cut, lean, and toned body in no time!"
4. Protect the skin you're in: Sunscreen is essential
"I never stop wearing sunscreen," she says adamantly. (I can attest this is the truth, as I personally watched Karina apply and reapply the good stuff several times throughout the day.) How else does she keep her skin glowing and gorgeous? "I wash my face with Cetaphil religiously--twice a day. It has helped me leaps and bounds with keeping my skin clear."
Karina's enthusiasm for surfing and life itself was incredibly contagious--surf's up!
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Photo Credit: Jennifer Rocholl/Oakley