Part Two of our interview with the current ASP Women’s Longboard World Champion goes deeper into Lindsay’s story and touches a great deal on her beloved dad who passed away in October 2010. Faced with that heartbreaking loss, she managed to work through the pain by using the lessons that her father taught her from a young age. Today, Lindsay Steinriede has not only taken up rank with the best female longboarders in surf history, she also continues to follow her dad’s inspiration by using her vast skill set to benefit the world around her.
Lindsay Steinriede is a champion of surfing. More importantly though, Lindsay is a champion in life. –Chris Grant
Jettygirl: A few years back you told us a story about a magic epoxy board of yours? Could you fill in the details on the journey it took from comp to used board rack to wall hanger to the podium once more?
Lindsay: Oh yah…I made the change to ride Ryan’s boards the day before we left for the 2006 Duke Fest in Waikiki. Since that was not enough time for him to shape a board for me, he went into Infinity, whom he was shaping for at the time, and grabbed a 9’0 high-performance epoxy tri-fin for me. I took it out for three waves the day before the event and it was on from there…that board felt like magic under my feet. I ended up winning that event, and followed it up with a big win at the 2006 Roxy Jam Cardiff Reef to claim my first North American title. With Ryan shaping me some new custom boards, I didn’t think twice about trading that board in. However, my dad thankfully thought otherwise and wanted to keep it as a piece of memorabilia on his wall so he went and bought it back from the shop. My new boards were great and I still found success on them, but as the 2007 Roxy Jam Cardiff Reef approached again something just didn’t feel right. Mental or not, I knew I needed that magic board again. I ran home that stormy afternoon before the event, grabbed it off the wall, waxed it up, did what became my three wave ritual in some Sano slop, and was ready to rock again. With that magic board under my feet again, I took home 2nd place at the event, and returned the board safely to my dad the next day with one more result on it. ;)
Jettygirl: When I first heard that story, one of the underlying themes was your dad’s pride in your accomplishments. From seeing you ride your first wave to watching you succeed in every aspect of life as an adult, he must have been so pleased with you. Did thoughts of your father cross your mind when you won your World Title? He most assuredly must have been smiling down from heaven.
Lindsay: Yes. Not to be a downer, but to be honest, all I could think about for months following the win, with all the congrats coming in and celebrations, was that I didn’t really care about any of it. I did pretty good about faking a lot of happiness, but all I really wanted at the time was to have my dad back. While the title was something I had wanted for a while, it just doesn’t even compare to the pain of wanting somebody you love back. However, I definitely find happiness in knowing how proud he is of me, and that’s one thing that has kept me on track and moving forward in life.
Jettygirl: From all the accounts we’ve heard, your dad was an amazing and generous man who left his mark on family, friends, students and the community around him. What is the most important lesson or piece of advice he gave you during your lifetime?
Lindsay: From a young age, my father instilled powerful life concepts in our minds. He always encouraged us to follow our hearts and try our best. He constantly reminded us that life is precious, short, and he led by example that it should be lived to the fullest. He was also one of the funniest human beings I’ve ever known and always kept everybody around him laughing or with huge smiles on their faces. Even his last days in the hospital he managed to crack a couple jokes that had nurses and doctors laughing. One of the last things he told me in regards to losing a loved one, as he had been through some of the worst losses already, is that, “It is possible to find happiness.” I’ve been replaying those words in my mind daily since his passing to help me find strength and courage.
Dana Point officials unveil the Bill Steinriede Dana Point Memorial for all the pioneering efforts Bill put forth during his lifetime to improve the water quality at local beaches for present and future generations.
Jettygirl: Was your dad one of the main inspirations for you becoming a teacher and coach yourself? Did he give you any career advice?
Lindsay: Definitely. I grew up watching his teaching and coaching career lifestyle, and as I mentioned, quickly realized that work and play could co-exist with some hard work and love for what you do. It also didn’t hurt that he always had summers off to take us to the beach daily. I had my mind made up about following in his foot-steps early on, and he of course was a great mentor for me that helped me every step of the way. There have been many times since entering into the beginning stages of my career that I wish I could ask him so many questions. Thankfully we were so close that I generally know what his advice would be. As for all the logistics, I have been very fortunate to find help from fellow co-workers, some new connections, and many of which actually worked with my dad at some point. And I must say, in addition to having a very intelligent husband, I am also very fortunate to have a great step-mom and in-laws that I can turn to for advice on grown-up type-decisions I never knew I’d have to make.
Jettygirl: You fit a crazy amount of activities into each day but you seem like a very relaxed person in general. Have both the teaching of and practicing of yoga helped you keep things in balance in your daily life? When a student sees Lindsay Steinriede on their class schedule, what type of experience should they expect in class?
Lindsay: Yoga has been extremely beneficial to me on many levels. Originally I started Yoga to aid in recovering from some physical injuries and chronic pains, which it continues to do, but once I progressed into Yoga and started diving into more of the mental and spiritual aspects of it, I fell in love with Yoga and decided it was something I wanted to be able to pass on to others. As for what students can expect from my class, it depends which class they sign up for. For example, from my Pilates classes, they can expect an energetic, total body workout, with plenty of focus and concentration, but also a lot of laughs mixed in to make working out fun. Then depending on the style of Yoga I am teaching in the class, students can expect anything from a calm, rejuvenating class with guided meditations, to a more dynamic flow mixed with challenging balancing postures, yet always ending with time for much-needed relaxation. And whatever the class may be, as I teach many other activity classes throughout the semesters, I strive to create a very non-judgmental, self-improving, fun, effective class.
For me personally, I love being on the move, squeezing in as many fun activities as I can into one day which also helps me relax when its time to chill with some friends, or take some alone time for myself. To conclude on your original question, It truly is all about balance, and Yoga continues to help me maintain balance the best I can on all levels: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.
Jettygirl: Did yoga play a part of your ASP World Title?
Lindsay: Absolutely. Yoga helped me crawl out from my depths and began bringing calmness and clarity back into my life. Yoga is a very healing practice on all levels as I stated above. It brings a sense of overall awareness to your body-mind-spirit, helps you clear your head, gain a true perspective on reality, thus allowing you to act in an honest manner. The best example I give to my students, which I was taught in my yoga training, involves a snow globe. When your life and your mind are all shaken up and cluttered like a snow globe, you can not see what is truly inside, you therefore have a false perspective on reality or for example that object in the globe. However, if you take the time to let things settle and create a state of calmness and clarity, like when the snow falls to the bottom of the globe, you will be able to clearly see what the object in the globe is, or in essence, gain a clear perspective on reality. This concept is what changed my perspective about competing in France, and even to this day. It’s what allowed me to acknowledge what’s important in life and how traveling for competition and the experiences gained along the way are true blessings. Remember that at the end of the day, if the worst thing that happens is not advancing to the next round, then what a great day it still could be.
Jettygirl: What would your perfect day look like?
Lindsay: On a perfect day, the rays from the sunrise would beam through an open tent occupied by Ryan and I in some deserted paradise. I’d enjoy some Yoga overlooking the ocean while Ryan made some campfire french press coffee. We’d sip some joe watching perfect empty waves roll through until we were ready to catch some for ourselves. Once we couldn’t paddle any more we’d come in for some fresh grinds, rejuvenate, then depending where we were we’d set off on another adventure; either playing some amazing golf course, hiking to hot springs, or something spontaneous that the day brings. Once we returned from our activity, we’d give what energy we had left to catch a few more waves, get out of the water just in time to watch the last bit of sunset and enjoy a blazing campfire. And if i really wanted to make it a perfect day, an ice cream truck would magically appear just in time for dessert…just saying.
Jettygirl: When you’ve ridden that last wave decades and decades from now and you look back on your life, how would you like to be remembered?
Lindsay: I’d like to be remembered as somebody that never gave up. Somebody that saw their dreams through and didn’t let anybody stand in the way. I strive to be a hard-working, fun-loving spirit that lives life to the fullest. I hope I can be seen as an inspiration to others as a strong independent woman that isn’t afraid to ask for help when needed. And I’d like to be thought of as a loyal and loving wife, daughter, sister, and friend. May seem like a lot, but that’s honest and that’s the kind of person I’m striving to be.
Jettygirl: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us Lindsay. I hope you’ll forgive us for this long delayed interview. Any parting thoughts…?
Lindsay: I’d just like to thank again all of those that have supported me, and continue to support me, not only in my surfing career but in my life in general. My family and friends that have been there to help me through the hardest of times, and those that are genuinely happy for any of my success. I know I have probably said this multiple times throughout the interview, but I can’t stress enough how short life is, how important it is to realize what is actually important in life, to follow your dreams, never stop believing, and to make the most out of every situation. And as the greatest man in the world once told me, “It is possible to find happiness!”
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