This month we're kicking off a new interview series, Girls Who Rip! We want to celebrate strong women who are pushing themselves in sport and making an impact in their communities. Follow along each month to get inspired! Each interview will be accompanied by an Instagram takeover so we can get a glimpse into each woman's life and world view. If you have questions you'd like to see included in an interview, or women you'd like to nominate to be interviewed, let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org
To kick off our series, meet Miriam Tymiec: kiteboarder, digital nomad, and the creator of Wake Up Stoked.
Why did you start kiting?
I started out of FOMO. We went for a family holiday to the Dominican Republic and we picked this spot because I wanted to surf, my mom wanted to windsurf and my brother wanted to kitesurf. I didn't even know what kitesurfing was but the first day on the beach that we laid there jetlagged and saw all the amazing Dominican riders pulling their tricks made me interested in that. I accompanied my brother to the kite school and basically only learned it because I thought I might be missing out. Flying the kite on the beach was not really fun for me but the moment I went bodydragging, shooting myself out of the water I was completely hooked.
What do you fear and how do you overcome it?
I fear failure and being judged most. Overcoming it only happens when I realize that I am paralyzed because of one of the above reasons and decide that I will fail anyway if I won't even give it a try. I also try to see failure as part of life and the more I fail or put myself at risk of failing, the quicker I will move forward and create the life I want to live and become the person I want to become. As for being judged I realize quite quickly that a) everyone is busy living their own lives and honestly no one really cares that much and b) that it doesn't matter if they did because you are living life on your own terms. Become clear on why you do what you do, what are your reasons behind it and then it becomes secondary what others might think of you or if they judge you.
What's your #1 self-care tip?
Move your body. Whether you put on a song at home and shake/jump/dance to it, go for a run, yoga session or kite session. Move your body to get out of your head and into your heart.
What's your top tip for a beginner looking to get into kiting?
Take enough time (a week at least), pick a properly windy spot, take private lessons or semi-private lessons if you want to get there fast and just keep going until you water start, don't give up half way. I also wrote an extensive guide on everything you need to know before you start learning it and how to learn it easier: https://wakeupstoked.com/learn-kitesurfing/
(And here's more tips for beginners
It's a poem by Erin Hanson and I read it when I started my journey of quitting my job and becoming a digital nomad almost 4 years ago: "What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?" Also 'Wake Up Stoked,' the name of my kitesurf blog is a mantra because I want to create a life I am excited to wake up to. If I make the right choices this feeling of inner happiness and excitement to tackle the day tingles up inside of me when I wake up. It’s like my inner compass if I’m going into the right direction and it reminds me to change course whenever I lose it for a longer period of time.
What's your pre-session go-to snack?
I try to never eat before a session because that harness will bring the food right back up ;) But if I'm really hungry before hitting the water I'll have a bulletproof coffee (with Collagen), a small protein smoothie or a few nuts.
How do you make your lifestyle more eco-friendly?
As a digital nomad, I travel year-round but I try to travel slower and fly less so I try to stay at every spot at least a month, ideally 3 months. Also, I travel with my own water filter so I don't need to buy plastic bottles, a water bottle I can fill my water in, reusable straws and I always have a thermos with me or a reusable cup so I can take my morning tea with me anywhere. For shampoo I use the soap bars and also for all the other beauty products I try to keep it simple – for instance I use Coconut Oil as a body lotion and makeup remover (if I ever wear one), I use the coffee powder from my morning coffee as a body scrub (you can add coconut oil as well but I usually just add water), I use the leftover green tea from my morning tea and put it on my body (great anti-oxidant) or use the papaya skin and rub it all over my face as a face mask. When I go shopping I bring my own bags and I try to buy stuff in e.g. jars that I can reuse later for leftover food.
What is your day job, and how do you manage work/fun balance?
I'm a freelance graphic designer and run the kitesurf blog Wake Up Stoked. So for both I sit a lot in front of the laptop. I try to balance it by always getting a workout or yoga session in in the mornings and then if possible go kiting later in the day. If I feel stuck and don't have appointments I will also just go for a session and then continue work when I feel more inspired.
Do you crosstrain?
I get a workout or yoga session in the morning, no matter if it's windy or not because I need it for my mind to work and feel good. Depending on my soreness and if it's going to be windy this will be a yoga session, beach run or walk, functional training, kickboxing or swimming or if I have the chance hiking.
- Big Magic
| Creative Living Beyond Fear – by Elizabeth Gilbert (great book for anyone who works creatively or wants to add more creativity into his/her life)
| Live a meaningful life – by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.
- Atomic Habits
– by James Clear
Want more? Check out Sensi's favorites here
What are you really proud of?
Every single time I manage to break out of my comfort zone. Whether that's a small thing or big thing, I celebrate it because it was way too comfortable in that comfort zone. My biggest achievement has been – despite a huge fear – shifting from full-time employment as a designer in Munich to becoming a location-independent graphic designer and founder of a kite blog while living at sunny and windy kite spots and going kitesurfing, which is simply my biggest passion. Creating this life and going at it no matter how hard it was and how far away I was from making it a reality has been my biggest achievement so far.