How NZ surf champ and green lawyer Mischa Davis finds balance
Charlotte Squire catches up with New Zealand surf champion and soon to be lawyer for the environment – Mischa Davis about her love for surfing and finding balance in life. Having just completed her law degree, this year Mischa hopes to get an internship with an environmental NGO.
1. How does surfing feed your soul?
Surfing feeds my soul through its simple expression of freedom and fun, through passion, love, and the simple act of immersing myself in such a wild and cleansing place that is the ocean.
2. How do you find that balance with surfing, where you’re doing what you love, but it also earns you a living. How do you maintain the passion for your sport with perhaps some pressure?
When I was trying to make surfing a profession before I went to university I actually lost a lot of passion for it, it took away the reasons why I loved doing it so much. I began to resent the pressure and the idea that I was doing it because I had to and not because I necessarily wanted to. Surfing has come to mean so much more to me since I began university. It has become something that washes away the stress of the day, my place of freedom and solitude away from my busy mind and hectic schedule at law school. My love for surfing continues to grow, especially as I have embraced a different style of surfing. I used to be very focused on short boarding and competition surfing, however now I mainly ride a long board which is more traditional and true to the origins of the sport. Long boarding is a lot more relaxed and focused on style rather than doing big turns. This has opened my mind to viewing surfing in a new light with new appreciation. Surfing connects me to my home of Piha, a place I love deeply, and also connects me to my family and friends.
3. How do you maintain your passion for surfing in the face of rising expectations from people around you
given your recent success in surfing?
I don’t feel any expectation from anybody around me. I used to feel a lot of pressure competing when I was younger and I definitely began to resent it. I felt particular pressure from my sponsor at the time. I feel that my success in terms of my national titles last year came to me from a process of letting go. I don’t take my surfing seriously at all. For the many years that I was aspiring to be a professional surfer I never won a national title, it was only in my final year of law school, after I had completely changed direction of my life, that it actually came together and happened.
I believe my success has come about from letting go and forgetting about anybody’s expectations and just living for myself and what I believe in.
4. Right now in in your life (because these things can change) – how do you find and support your own happiness?
For me happiness comes from simple things like surfing, spending time in nature, eating good food and surrounding myself with positive and inspiring people. I also think balance is very important. Studying a law degree was not easy … Read more by signing up to Club Happyzine this week and getting the final low-down in this Friday’s ezine!
Discover how Mischa has learned to let go and trust in life, balancing the stress of a law degree with her commitment to surfing and creating amazing results in this week’s Club Happyzine ezine. Our full Friday ezine features exclusive stories about New Zealand’s most inspiring, green leaders. Pay what you can afford to join Club Happyzine!