As a podcast host I am so in love with meeting new mamas and hearing their stories, but sometimes I get to interview a guest who is also a longtime friend. That is the case for today’s interview with Holly Beck Obermeyer.
I remember meeting Holly in National Scholastic Surfing Association’s Southwest California contests, back when we were in our teens. All I knew of Holly at that point was that although she had the look of a cutsie beach babe with her long blonde hair and broad smile, she was anything but a beach bunny. In fact she rebelled against the beach bunny persona. She was a fierce competitor, focused go-getter and no-bullshitter. In fact, as a surfer who was just stepping into the competitive world and had a lot of work to do on my own surfing, she was admittedly intimidating.
Eventually we started surfing in College Contests together as we grew older, Holly representing the University of California San Diego, and me representing the University of California Santa Barbara, and it was then that I discovered how funny and down to earth she really was.
One thing any fellow female competitor knew for sure was that if Holly was in your heat, she was probably going to dominate it. Her strong, laser focused and stylish surfing took her to eventually compete professionally having competed against some of the best in the world. Holly has always had a sense of grounded ness beyond her years and clarity in her vision for life that I’ve admired. Once she knew she wanted something, she figured out how to attain it. without wavering.
Fast forward to our early twenties, Holly and I along with other surf friends took a trip to the Maldives and Seychelles together for 3 weeks and it was then that we became friends. After being the Pro Surfing Tour and competing in World Qualifying Series events for 10 years all while attaining a Masters in Marketing, Holly decided she had enough of the grind and moved to Nicaragua. It was here that she opened up her surf school, at the time called Suave Dulce for beginner women surfers. Now her surf school has become Surf with Amigas, and is one of the most popular surf retreats for women in the world.
After working with on her on a few of her retreats, I can see why. Holly is professional, passionate, and energetic, and her knowledge of surfing is what makes guests keep flocking. She still continues to run retreats in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where she took up residency and eventually built a home with her and her now husband Kim.
They currently have two kids Luna and Soleo and have raised them to live an unconventional and outdoor life in Centural Ameerica. In the past couple of years Holly has started bringing both of her kids out into the line-up with her and seeing their joy and comfort on the waves is so inspiring to parents of any background. Holly reminds our listeners that we can create the life we want and not to be afraid if it doesn’t meet the status quoa.
5:46: Holly reflects that the biggest change when becoming a mom was realizing she was not the center of her universe anymore.
8:12: As a former professional surfer who built her life around the ocean, it was a bit disillusioning only having 30 or so minutes to herself in the very beginning, and not being able to get in the water.
16:15: We discuss Diastasis Recti and how it is quite common for women, but not often discussed pre-baby, and how for Holly she felt like it changed her body and strength completely.
20:00: Redefining moments for Holly when she realized she no longer was a pro surfer and fitness model, but a mama that really likes to surf.
28:21: Holly began taking her daughter Luna out in the line-up with her when she was really little, and after having her in swim lessons.
33:32: Surfing with her kids reminds her what surfing is really about-PLAY & JOY!
36:07: Holly discusses naysayers: She did what she felt was the safest when surfing with her kids or when she surfed pregnant.
40:42: Holly talks about differences in raising kids in Central America versus the U.S.
43:12: Holly reminds listeners that there is no “perfect paradise” and it takes traveling abroad and coming home, to appreciate all ways of living.
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