Surf Getaways women: Veronica Lahey
Meet Veronica, one of our Surf Getaways women that joined our Gold Coast surf clinics a while ago. Veronica has been connected to the ocean for a long time, but only recently started surfing. We asked her some questions to get to know more about her interesting life - she has some really cool stories to tell and inspiring experiences that are worth reading.
Where are you from?
I’ve lived on the Gold Coast in Runaway Bay since I was in Primary School which is going back over 45 years. I spent a lot of my childhood on and in the water but never took up surfing. We were more of a power boating family. When I met and married my husband we continued the boating lifestyle although moved more into sailing boats and have had many great adventures both racing and cruising.
What do you do when you’re not in the water?
I am an avid fitness fanatic. I like to do anything active. I currently lift heavy weights (diagnosed with osteoporosis after a series of bone breaks), do reformer pilates, cycling, running and spent a few years doing triathlons. I recently tried wake surfing and that was such a great experience. I was thankful to have had some surfing lessons prior, to help with my balance on the board. I am currently studying marine navigation and preparing to obtain my advanced dive ticket in preparation for our next big adventure.
How long have you been surfing?
I took up surfing in November 2021 with a group of friends so I am still a complete novice.
Why did you take up surfing?
I was fortunate a group of friends decided to give surfing a go. It was so much fun I continued. The comradery, banter, support and fun were fantastic. I have also met lots of other like minded women who continue to be supportive as I continue this journey.
Apart from the joy of surfing the waves, what else has surfing given you?
I had a frightening ocean swimming experience while I was training for a triathlon a few years ago. I was completely out of my comfort zone and in hindsight should not even have attempted to go out. That feeling of helplessness as you are smashed beneath a series of huge waves can be overwhelming and confidence zapping. I have had a fear of being in the surf and the waves ever since. Surfing is helping me to overcome this fear and I am certainly gaining my confidence again. I don’t think I’ll ever be a big wave surfer but I hope I can continue to feel more confident in the waves and improve my skills. I believe the coaching part where we paddle out, take a moment to relax and get our heads under the water before we start goes a long way to helping build that confidence as well.
What would you say to a woman of any age considering trying surfing for the first time?
I would say definitely give it a go. It is an ageless sport. The Surf Getaways coaches are so knowledgeable, caring and supportive. I wish now that I had learned when I was much younger. That feeling of taking off on a wave (I’m still on small ones!) is so amazing and an absolute natural high. I now understand why so many people enjoy the sport.
Tell us about an empowering female in your life and how they influenced your life?
My paternal grandmother was such a strong and resilient woman. She lived on a dairy farm for many of her younger years working long, hard days and raising a family while her husband was away during the 2nd world war. She continued that strength and resilience throughout her life and in later years was able to travel around this beautiful country of ours. She had a full life until suffering a stroke in her 80s. Despite her loss of speech and associated health problems she continued to live at home right up until her death at the age of 94. I never heard her complain about anything and she always had a caring word, a hug and a zest for life. I hope I have inherited her strength, resilience and sense of adventure.
Tell us a fun fact about you, something non-surfing related
My husband and I purchased a sailing catamaran in the Caribbean in 2012. We sailed that boat back to Australia in 2014 across the Pacific Ocean and through French Polynesia, Tonga, Fiji and Vanuatu. It was the trip of a lifetime. Very remote for lots of it but the people we met and places we visited along the way were incredible. We could all learn a lot about happiness and resilience from the people of these countries.
At Surf Getaways we are so thankful for having an amazing community full of inspiring women like Veronica, with so many stories and experiences to share. Join us on any of our Surf Clinics or Surf Tours and be part of a group of like-minded women that support and empower each other both in and out of the water.