Name: Micha Shaw
Brief description of yourself: I’m a mom and sports model living in Huntington Beach. My pre-baby days were spent competing in Open Water swimming and Lifesaving competitions. I trained for the 2008 and briefly for the 2012 Olympics in the 10K Open Water event. I swam at Cal (GO BEARS!). I grew up all over the place…Washington, England, South Africa, but I consider myself an Alaskan at heart. That’s where I spent most of my time growing up.
What is your favorite dryland workout? My favorite dryland workouts are yoga, boxing, hiking. Probably my most favorite workout would be when my husband and I work out together in our garage or at the beach. I love box jumps, pull-ups and the TRX. If we are at the beach, I like to add sand sprints to really torture myself!
What is your favorite water work out? Ocean swims and surfing in warm water. Swimming anytime. Honestly, now as a mom I find it hard to be consistent with one particular workout. Anytime I can get out of the house by myself, it’s usually for a workout. I dream of one day joining a masters team, and being the overly competitive old chick that tries to keep up with the young kids.
Describe your dream day at the beach: My dream day at the beach would include my best girl friends, we would body surf, surf, paddle and swim until the only thing we have energy for is lifting a nacho to our mouth and holding onto an ice cold bud light. I imagine this would take place in Sayulita.
What activities do you do in JOLYN? Play in the sand with my kids, swim, paddle, surf…I once did a crossfit competition in JOLYN!
Favorite JOLYN color: Cabernet
Favorite JOLYN style and why: Softy bottom, if I had to choose just one. But I’m pretty sure I never met a JOLYN I didn’t like ;)
If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would they be: Since bringing my family is not in their best interest…I would bring a bikini, Sunblock and a giant jar of peanut butter
What's your favorite beach that you've been to and what beach is on your list to go to? Dream Beach, Lembongan Island. Noosa Heads, any beach off the Great Ocean Road, Australia. All the beaches in Bali. I got married in Changuu, Bali in 2009. Currently on my travel list is Sayulita, Sri Lanka (swimming with Blue Whales!!), and Turks and Caicos…which I will be traveling to in 32 days with my husband, but who’s counting?
Who is your favorite athlete? One of my best friends, Natalie Coughlin, who showed me what it means to be a true bad ass.
What are 3 things on your bucket list: Swim with blue whales, travel to Morocco, drive across country in a custom airstream
If you were 60 years old, what would you tell your children: Always choose love. Regret nothing. Travel as much as possible.
What would we find in your refrigerator right now: Salsa, eggs, peanut butter, blueberries and some forgotten leftovers!
If you had to be an animal, what would you be and why: A Dolphin, so I could know what it's like to be fearless in the waves.
What would you spend your last $10 on: Coffee, chips and salsa and a lottery ticket.
Motivational Mondays // Juliana Bahr-Thomson
If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would they be:
Coconut water, underwater camera and surfboard
What's your favorite beach that you have been to:
I have had the pleasure of paddling almost the entire east coast of Australia, to choose a favorite beach is one of the most difficult questions. But I’d have to say the points of Noosa and the National Park is my favorite other salty home.
What beach is on your list to go to:
I dream of going to Morocco, Taiwan and the Greek Islands to explore their coast lines and culture.
Who is your favorite athlete:
I have a lot of athletes I look up to but Siri Linley, Laura Bennett and Rebekah Keat are my fav. They have all been personal mentors for me at some point during my triathlon career.
-What are 3 things on your bucket list: Simply to travel and discover new cultures, I have quite a list of places i'm still yet to
If you were 60 years old, what would you tell your children:
Enjoy every day, you work your entire life you may as well love what you do. Chase good times not money and things.
What is the craziest thing you have ever done:
Probably paddling a board out as sea for 43 days, 202 hours and covering 1000km from Newcastle to Noosa.
What's your favorite JOLYN color:
I love the smokey grey color, I have a bikini top in it!
-What's your favorite JOLYN style and why:
I really like the 1 piece swimmers, they are a great cut and the subtle detail with the back
straps as well as the side panels amazes me!
What motivates you:
Others stories of adversity and how they overcame obstacles, seeing people push limits and reading autobiographies of successful people.
If you had to be an animal, what would you be and why:
I’d be a Macaw parrot, I’ve always loved birds and I’m all about color!
What activities do you do in JOLYN:
I actually wear them as my work lifeguard uniform, I also train in my JOLYN 1 pieces and board paddle and surf in my 2 pieces.
What's the most inspiring race you've ever seen:
I think some of the best races that have inspired me have been the 1989 Ironman Triathlon world championship battle between Dave Scott and Mark Allen, and then again in 2010 with a very similar finish taking place between Chris McCormack and Raelert.
How do you like to cross train? or What is your favorite cross training activity:
I absolutely love running, only issue is I’m recovering from a major ankle surgery so I haven’t run properly in 1.5 years and I’m just relearning to jog and run all over again now.
What book would you recommend to our readers:
The 5 love languages, it is something everyone in life should read. It is such a great book and helps you reconnect with friends, family, work colleagues and partners on a much better level.
What inspires you:
Books, I love reading so much. I have my particular themes I stick by and I get so much out of reading and being able to relate to them.
What is something that nobody knows about you:
I get really shy so I’m not overly social and I keep to myself
What would you spend your last $10 on:
Maybe a sharpie pen and a coffee so I could sit in a café and sketch.
What is your signature dish in the kitchen:
My giant salad which is a mix of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds.
What is your favorite workout or gym exercise:
TRX it’s a very versatile training tool and I make it a lot of fun not always taking things too seriously.
What is your favorite holiday destination:
California, I have spent a lot of time there over the years and I truly love it there, but I honestly have so many favourite places. Hawaii, Thailand, Caribbean, Singapore,
Germany, Switzerland and Fort De France have all been amazing places to visit. I have too many favorites!
Motivational Monday // Lindsey Gerkens
- What is your favorite dryland workout? (If you have a specific circuit, track, beach or Cross Fit workout you like, let us know so we can share):
I love weight training. A good barbell complex works both cardio and functional strength at once. One of my favorites is:
Deadlift, bent row, hang clean, pushpress, back squat
8 sets x 6 reps of each exercise consecutive, rest 60 secs between sets
-What is your favorite water work out (Masters polo practice, ocean swim, surf session, if you have a specific swim set you like, please share):
Bodysurfing the big angry blown-out washing machine waves you get when a hurricane is coming up the coast- with fins. It’s so much fun you don’t feel your legs burning!
- What activities do you do in JOLYN:
Work, train, and play: swimming, surfing, paddling, ocean rescue lifeguarding, surfskiing, bodysurfing
- What's your favorite JOLYN color:
It’s a toss up between Mango and Army green
- What's your favorite JOLYN style and why:
Softy bottoms! Super flattering, comfortable, and they stay on no matter what.
- If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would they be:
A pole spear, vegetable seeds, and my dog Maka
- What's your favorite beach that you have been to and what beach is on your list to go to:
Rainbow Bay in Australia near where I went to college is absolute paradise. Someday I’d love to go to the North Shore of Hawaii and see Pipe when it’s firing.
- Who is your favorite athlete:
Jolyn Rep and Surf Lifesaving guru Jen Noonan is a huge inspiration to me. She is all heart and gives so much to support surf lifesaving in the United States and all the other lifeguards that compete- not to mention being an incredible competitor that continues to dominate at the National level decade after decade.
- What are 3 things on your bucket list:
Visit the Mediterranean Greek Islands
Convince the United States Lifesaving Association to make the American Ironwoman event the same as the Ironman event (by adding the row leg) at the United States National Lifeguard Championships. They currently do not let women row in the race unlike the men because of ridiculous reasons like “it’s too dangerous” and “not very many women know how to row”. And then of course compete in the event!
- If you were 60 years old, what would you tell your children:
Follow your heart
- What's the most inspiring race you've ever seen:
Over a decade ago, I was privileged to be one of the first women who raced in a full American Ironwoman (with a row!) in the Mayor’s Cup Lifeguard Tournament in New Jersey. For years the tournament had featured an Ironman race, but no Ironwoman race. They had said there wasn't enough interest in the race, they said not enough women knew how to row, they said the boats were too heavy for us, and that there wasn't enough time in the tournament- very similar to the reasons that the USLA is giving today for excluding the full Ironwoman race from the National Championships. However, we persevered and convinced them to add the Ironwoman to the local tournament. Despite their predictions, we had so many women determined to race that they had to expand the maximum number of competitors allowed in the race that year and every single woman finished the race and finished without injuries in 4-5ft surf. Watching the sunset light up the evening sky as we raced and seeing the other girls powering through the pain to prove our equality to the spectators on the beach and the men we work beside everyday was one of the most inspirational and uplifting moments of my eighteen-year lifeguarding career. We weren’t racing each other, we were racing against the race itself, and we all won. I am very proud to say that for the past twelve years female guards in New Jersey have been rowing in the full American Ironwoman at that tournament every summer.
- What book would you recommend to our readers:
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. We are all being pulled in so many directions by modern day life: work more hours, make more money, climb the ladder, be a good spouse, be a good parent, be a good friend, spend time with your parents, stay fit, eat healthy, give back to your community- there’s not enough time in a day to do it all. It helps me keep my priorities straight when I start to feel overwhelmed.
- What is something that nobody knows about you:
I used to tap dance and sing in my high school’s musical theater performances.
- What is your signature dish in the kitchen:
I make some mean oven-baked barbecue ribs. Topped off with a homegrown sweet potato and fresh kale from the garden sautéed in olive oil and garlic. Mmm mmm mmm.
- What is the hardest thing you've ever experienced:
Getting divorced. It’s like having the rug pulled out from underneath you, except the rug is your whole life. It shakes your faith in yourself and in others. Life has a way of knocking us all down from time to time. Getting up again is never easy, but finding the strength to stand up again after my divorce was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Some days my legs still feel a little wobbly.
- Any last words or testimonial:
Appreciate the small things and the big things will take care of themselves.
The Women of Molokai 2 Oahu
The Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships is a 32-mile open ocean paddleboard race between the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai and Oahu. This race features the best stand up paddlers and traditional prone paddlers out there. I remember following this race when I was new into the sport of paddling, seeing Jamie Mitchell, Jordan Mercer, and all the other legends paddling, and I it was only in my wildest dreams to be able to cross this channel.
Fast-forward five years to 2016 and I was on the verge of my second crossing. Having raced in Molokai 2 Oahu once before I somewhat knew what I was getting myself into, but the thing about this race is that you can never predict what this channel will throw at you. The race becomes so much more than just a competition… but an ADVENTURE… and soaking every moment up of this EXPERIENCE is what it is all about.
I want to focus on the amazing women who competed in the race this year. Although the large majority of competitors are men in this race, the caliber of the small number of women competitors is just incredible. These are the women who I not only compete against, but the women who I look up to and the women who inspire me to be the best paddler and PERSON I can be.
The group of ladies who competed directly against me this year in the stock paddleboard division (12 foot traditional prone paddleboard) was probably the most competitive group I have ever paddled against. Abby Brown (only 18 years of age!) came away victorious this year, and what a performance she had. This was her first crossing and she became one of the few who have won this race in their first crossings. Abby inspired me this year, and I know she has a very bright future ahead of her as she paddles from her heart! There was also the champion from last year Colleen Tessler who pushed me to the very end of the race and is always ready to give her very best in these big races. And then we have DJ, our paddle mom, who continues to amaze me and was one of the women who inspired me to take paddling to the next level and compete in these marathon crossings. During this trip I also became very good friends with Jolyn rep and ambassador Robin Lang who also competed in the stock division. She hails from Virginia Beach and doesn’t let the cold winters deter her from training her butt off for this race. She is incredibly passionate about promoting not only Jolyn as a swimwear company, but as a brand that inspires women to pursue their dreams and passions. She lives directly by this motto, and am proud to call her one of my good friends and Jolyn teammates.
Then you have Jordan Mercer who has showed dominance in the paddleboard world, winning her 6th title this year in the unlimited paddleboard division. Jordan is someone I have looked up to for many years now, and her unparalleled determination and drive is extremely admirable. She has set the bar high for all the girls in the paddling world, and keeps us all working hard and striving to be our best. Liz Pluimers, one of the most legendary Surf Ironwomen from Australia, also showed us that anything you put your mind to is possible. She not only completed Molokai 2 Oahu on a paddleboard, but just a month before crossed the channel on a surf ski. Unbelievable! And then there is Kanesa Duncan Seraphin who is the pioneer of women’s paddleboarding. She has been racing in Molokai for more than a decade, and her continued presence in the race even as a new mom, is incredible. Also working her butt off was Louise Aitken from New Zealand who gave it her absolute all in those 32 miles.
In addition to the women who I share traditional paddling with, are the women who raced on stand up paddleboards. Although these ladies are racing on a different craft, they share the common passion for the ocean and also the desire to push their bodies and minds to the limit. German paddleboard phenom Sonja Honscheid won the overall title (almost breaking 5 hours!) followed by Annabel Anderson and Terrene Black. No challenge is too arduous for these ladies and paddling 32 miles in the incredibly dynamic Hawaiian waters on a stand up paddleboard is one that I can hardly wrap my head around. Although I do not know the ladies in the stand up paddleboard world as well as those in the prone world, these women deserve a shout out as well. Lena Guimaraes, Amy Lawson Woodward, Victoria Burgess, Siri Schubert, and Tomoe Yasu all successfully crossed the channel on unlimited stand up paddleboards. Fellow San Diego local and friend Kerstin Oullet took on the channel on a stock stand up paddleboard. Even having a board a few feet shorter than everyone else did not stop her.
Being surrounded by these women shows me that nothing is impossible with hard work, passion, grit, and determination.
THESE ARE THE WOMEN WHO INSPIRE ME.
STAY STRONG and CHARGE ON
(All photography done by Jiana Lazarus)