10 Minutes With Layne
Seven-time World Champion Layne Beachley stopped by Oakley headquarters yesterday, on her way to the biggest night in sports, the ESPY Awards. Next month, Layne will head to the Billabong Pro Brazil, as always, with the will to win, but this year, Beachley is approaching the season “with a completely different attitude, both mentally and emotionally.” Read on to find out what’s up in Layne’s world…
What was it like to be nominated for an ESPY?
It was unexpected. It’s difficult for an Australian to break into the U.S. market. I’m a household name in Oz, but most people don’t know who I am here. So it’s a wonderful opportunity. I’m up against some stiff competition—I don’t expect to win. Especially at my age. Everyone is incredibly young, that’s the movement today. I’m reaching the twilight of my career. All these accolades are going to be coming to end. So I’m just soaking it up for all it’s worth.
What have you been up to?
I just came back from Mexico. I was coaching the world team at the X Games. I was offered the opportunity to surf or coach. Our team is really young and I thought I’d be more useful as a coach. The waves were amazing. It was a really intense competition. A lot of people said it was the most exciting contest they’d ever seen.
Once you saw the waves, were you wishing you were surfing?
It was a wonderful opportunity to coach. I was really enjoying being on the beach. It was great to be mentoring and supporting the girls who are usually my competitors. They were really comfortable taking my guidance.
What are your upcoming competition plans?
Well we had four months off—our last contest was in April and our next is in Brazil in August. So I have three weeks. I’ll just be training, fine tuning my equipment. Then we have one event a month until Christmas. It really benefits me and the older generation—there’s plenty of time to work on other opportunities.
What are those for you?
I’m so busy! I’m launching my brand in October, planning my event back home, writing my biography… I’m an ambassador for Australian Tourism, I run a charity. I have to make time to surf three times a week!
What’s your outlook going into Brazil?
My goal is always to win, but now I’m not placing so many expectations on myself. I’ll go to perform my best and experience the event. I’m still driven, I’m just not as goal oriented as I was before. I’m going to allow myself to have fun. I took the last 10-12 years for granted—everything became normal. Now I realize it’s finite and I’m making the most of every opportunity that presents itself.
How did this change of attitude come about?
Well, in March I got slaughtered by a 14 year-old! I came off my seventh world tour win and I was in this self-depreciating mental state. I didn’t think I was good enough or could fulfill what everyone expected from me. I thought, “Well, I’m too old or I’m getting in my own way.” Turns out I was getting in my own way. It was valuable the realization came at such a vunerable time. I’ve had the time to get in the right space and work things out mentally, technically and emotionally.
You recently moved into a new house back home?
Yes, my boyfriend and I moved in a new house. It needs a bit of work. He’s been on tour, and I’ve been wanting to do the furniture and decorate, but I keep trying to remember, it’s our house, not my house. I’ve never felt so grounded and settled. I’m a gypsy at heart. But recently I’ve realized I haven’t raveled overseas wince January and I haven’t cared! Now all I need is a puppy. Who am I kidding, I haven’t been able to keep an aloe vera plant alive and they don’t even need water!