Advocate Q&A: Easkey Britton
YOU'VE BEEN PART OF A PIONEERING TEAM CHASING COLD WATER MOUNTAINS FOR SOME TIME NOW, NO AUDIENCES, NO BLUE SKIES, NO GOLDEN SANDS. HOW DO YOU PREPARE YOUR BODY AND MIND FOR THAT?
Entering heavy surf is the ultimate place of encounter, whatever emotions or baggage I’ve been carrying will be revealed. It’s an intense, visceral experience that strips me of my sense of identity, the wave acting as a mirror to whatever it is I'm feeling. There’s no hiding from yourself. Which, in a way, is what makes it feel deeply intimate. All of this adds up to the profound need for psychological preparation, more so even than physical preparation, although the physical side is incredibly demanding too. For me it’s a combination of breathwork and breathing practices adapted from freedive training, and a mindfulness-based practice with the use of visualisation and neuro-imaging. Having confidence in my body is key, building up the body’s capacity to respond dynamically, to be both strong and fluid is essential.
TALK US THROUGH A TYPICAL WEEK AND HOW YOU FIT YOUR TRAINING IN...
These days, especially on my initiatory journey into motherhood, the sea and surf has become more and more a place of pleasure, joy, release, play and healing, and much less about performance. At the moment as my body develops and radically changes to grow two little humans my week is anything but typical. My constants remain my yoga practice and swimming. I like to move gently first thing in the morning - checking in with my body using my breath and sometimes I’ll do some gentle banded exercises, especially for my obliques now my abdominals have gone! Getting in the sea for a surf was always a top priority, and during later stages of pregnancy that became all about cold water immersion - floating and swimming! I find self-massage and ball rolling really beneficial to wind down and release tension in the evenings. Self-massage works wonders - the ball is amazing for a foot massage, feels like an instant reset.
WHAT DOES YOUR ROUTINE LOOK LIKE BEFORE A TYPICAL SURF SESSION?
Dynamic movement exercises, mimicking animal or surf movements I find is a great way to prime my body, anything that keeps my spine moving and mobile and helps me feel a sense of expansion or spaciousness in my body. I like to do simple breathing exercises while I take a moment to pause and observe the ocean before I jump in.
HOW DO YOU RECOVER FROM SURFING IN CHALLENGING CONDITIONS TO ENABLE YOU TO GO AGAIN?
The water is cold in Ireland, so warming the body up with a bath (especially if you add seaweed to it) is so good for nourishing aching muscles and soothing wind battered skin! Or a sauna (mixed with a cold water plunge) are great for recovery and easing muscle tension. I don’t go anywhere without my yoga mat and roller. The back and hips can get really tight from surfing so I spend time on the roller and use the ball to work into tighter areas. Restorative or ‘yin’ yoga poses held for longer than, say a vinyasa flow, are also really good for releasing tension.
WHERE DO YOU TYPICALLY DO YOUR WARM UP/ MOBILITY/ RECOVERY SESSIONS?
I’m not a fan of the gym, I like to keep my training kit light and mobile so I can do it at home, on the beach or wherever I find myself.
YOU’VE HAD THE MOVEWELL COMPLETE PACK FOR A WHILE NOW…WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT MOVEWELL?
Can I say all of it?! I just love products that not only make my body feel good, but are also great for the planet and feels so much better against my skin. I love how portable the kit is too. If I had to pick just one favourite at the moment it would be the peanut.