How is becoming a surfing mom…with Valentina Marconi
Many of you women who love sea and sports will have asked themselves some questions about how becoming mothers would change their lives. Will we still be able to manage our passions together with the multiple responsibilities that being a mother in our time presupposes? If already we can barely make our work appointments coincide with our beloved sessions at sea, how will we do when we’ll add to this the most beautiful thing in the world, our children?
We met Valentina Marconi, surfer for more than twenty years, dentist and mother of three beautiful children.
Hi Valentina! Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Hello, I’m Valentina Marconi, I’m 39 but I feel I’m still 20 years old. I love surfing and between one wave and the next I became a dentist and mother of three cute and super-challenging children.
About surfing and pregnancy, how did you live them?
From the beginning I experienced pregnancy without any kind of deprivation, apart from the last 2 months in which honestly even just lacing my shoes became an impossible mission, I didn’t even think to put the surf aside. I was quite determined to deal with my gynecologist, he understood me and gave me his approval, as he said: doing something I loved would have done nothing but benefit the baby coming. I have always been calm in practicing surfing and when I could no longer lying down paddle I continued until I was able to row on my knees.
All right, but three pregnancies in three different ages are something different. Don’t tell us that you’ve never been afraid in the water …
I have always surfed during all my three pregnancies, avoiding the colder periods since I could not physically fit in the wetsuit. Fear, I had it 2 or 3 times since I can remember, the first time I was expecting my first baby and after surfing a wave I ended up between foams and rocks, luckily a friend of mine was there and came to help me out. The second was at the 7th month of pregnancy and a wipeout hit me on the sand, fortunately I got away with a scratch on my shoulder. The third one was in the middle of the ocean when a group of people began to indicate a fin that was around us. For the rest I have always felt a great joy and strong emotions while surfing during pregnancy.
After giving birth how much did your body took to get ready for surfing?
The real problem is right there. Because your body changes completely without asking for permission. Everything change, the center of gravity, the way you feel your body on the surfboard, you have no strength because of the white nights, breastfeeding, the great responsibility that you suddenly have to manage. Fortunately, all this goes by in few time, but it takes great passion, willpower and determination to return what you were before. The time I spent getting back in shape was different for each post-pregnancy. The longest was after the first one, since I was not prepared for the changes I would have undergone, but my desire to go back and slide on the waves has always been the same, so I started again a month after giving birth carrying with me the crazy hormones and lots of completely weird emotions. Pool training, yoga and all sorts of workouts helped me a lot.
You’re the mother of two beautiful girls and a boy who have already approached the world of surfing, you involved them or was it their wish?
The greatest wish I always had, even before being a mother, was to be able one day to surf with my children. It’s the height of happiness to share your greatest passion with the people you love the most in the world. My poor sweeties are born surrounded by boards, paraffins and surf videos and are dragged on trips to the most famous surfing destinations. My eldest daughter is a sweet and fearful girl and I immediately thought that surfing for her could be therapeutic, I thought that learning how to manage the force of the sea would have given her more self-confidence. So after a slight insistence of mine, she started to approach the surfboard. Then the passion has grown! The second is instead a very lively, tough and determined girl and after a couple of years of total rejection of surfing, last summer I was amazed I was asked for a surfboard and she wanted to start surfing without my help. My little man had always many limitations in doing activities together with the big sisters, that’s why he immediately had a great desire to try surfing, it was something to share with them.
What is the opinion your females have of you as a surfer mom? Surely they try to imitate you!
My little mermaids see me as a multifaceted person, a mother with a great passion that carries on despite the limitations of life. They get excited at night I tell them my adventures in the sea. I don’t know if one day they’ll want to follow my example and will become surfers but my greatest desire is that they’ll find a passion, as strong as mine.
What do you teach to your children about the world of surfing?
I teach them a daily respect for nature and the sea. I use to bring them to educational meetings dedicated to the protection of the oceans where through games they begin to understand the importance of respect for the environment. When we go to the sea we like to challenge to collect plastics. And also I’ve always taught to the females that there isn’t a toy for girls and one for boys, neither a sport. I show them photos and videos of many women and girls from all over the world who share a great passion, certain that soon the number of females in the water will grow…most of my male surfer friends have had daughters! ahah
In addition of being a beautiful mother you are also a dentist, how many time can you cut out for surfing?
I like saying that in my free time I work, but which free time though?! Unfortunately the role of woman, mother, wife, human being over 30, involves many commitments and responsibilities. The time that I can cut out is not so much. Dawn patrol is definitely the easiest time to escape without anyone sticking to my legs and obviously on holiday.
It’s extremely frustrating not being able to go to the beach when you know there are beautiful waves, the suffering you feel is indescribable, but gives you the charge to be ready and organized for the next swell.
How do you imagine yourself in the future?
As I said, I still feel like a teenager and I hope I can live, as long as I have strength on my legs and air in my lungs, on the waves and in the sea and to continue to feel great emotions, together with my children. I would like to be able to move to a place where the waves are not a problem like here in Italy and to see my children grow in freedom.I have competed many times in Italy and who knows, I would like one day to represent Italy in some international competition.