This week on the podcast I’m delighted to welcome Bonnie Hancock to Sparta Chicks Radio.
This episode is very timely because today - December 19 - Bonnie sets out on an epic quest: to paddle her surf ski around Australia.
Her goal: to become the fastest and youngest person to do it.
It’s a journey of 16,000km that will take her around 6 months, along some of the most remote parts of Australia and not to mention through (in places) shark and crocodile-infested waters.
Bonnie grew up in the same coastal town of Sawmill and was joining in activities at her local surf club from the time she was 5.
At the age of 17, she (and her sister Courtney) moved to the Gold Coast to train and attempt to join the professional surf life saving Ironwoman series here in Australia which she did, just a few months later.
After competing in the professional ranks for close to a decade (and a bout of overtraining and burnout), Bonnie switched her attention to ocean ski paddling and finished the Molokai Challenge - a 52km ocean ski race between the islands of Molokai and Oahu in Hawaii, finishing 5th - in her first race in the sport.
Sometime later, she read a book written by the first woman to paddle around Australia, the seed was planted and the rest, as they say, is history.
In this conversation, Bonnie shares:
* why she was so drawn to the idea of paddling around Australia,
* the importance of staying curious about an idea (rather than dismissing it quickly and putting it in the ‘too hard’ basket)
* her childhood and starting in the local Surf Club from the time she was 5 years old,
* moving to the Gold Coast at 17 and qualifying to join the professional Ironwoman series a few months later,
* her experience of idolising professional athletes as a kid then standing on the start line next to them,
* why pre-race nerves are a good thing,
* her experience with the Imposter Complex,
* her decision to leave surf life saving and switch to ski paddling,
* the logistics involved in her circumnavigation of Australia,
* how she is mentally preparing and desensitising herself to the risks associated with crocodiles and sharks, and
* how she is training for a 6 month, 16,000km expedition.
As I said, Bonnie starts today (the day this episode goes live).
So make sure you head over to her social media accounts (listed below) to follow her journey and cheer her along.
I can’t wait to get Bonnie back in the podcast in a few months and hear how the expedition unfolds.
Notes and resources: