Standup Journal was lucky enough to catch up with three very diverse and dynamic women whose lives are fully connected to the water. In this series of interviews with SIC Maui women athletes, we learn how this brand connects with and supports women at any stage in their lives.
SIC Women: SUP Racing World Champion Seychelle
When we caught up with world champion SUP racer Seychelle, she was actually taking it slow while she awaited the birth of her first child in a few days. The normally high paced, training driven yogi had a quieter, reflective air about her as she addressed how her days looked in anticipation of the arrival of her first born.
In the past few years, Seychelle has been working in-depth on her coaching program for women, many of whom are stand up paddlers. She says the work is so much deeper than just another online paddle coaching program with elements like mindset, nutrition and self-love as part of the curriculum.
In 2020, she launched a nutrition and lifestyle challenge called, “Supercharge Your Nutrition” with a reboot in ‘21 called “Supercharge Yourself!”. Both included a step-by-step nutrition guide from this top level athlete on how to make lasting nutritional changes in your life.
“What has always driven me, beyond athletics, is what’s behind the drive to push so hard,” says Seychelle. “The better I am as an athlete and as a person, the more it helps me to help others.”
“What really motivates us is not the thing or goal we think we want to achieve, but what’s behind it. We are all connected to a purpose. My job is to help people figure that out. I’ve always known my purpose is to help other people. As I rise, I bring many others with me. It’s so fulfilling.”
Seychelle's Transition from Top SUP Athlete to Motherhood
Seychelle admits that of her longest held goals and desires, being a mother has always been high on the list. But she put it off for a while, for her lifestyle of adventure and her career as a world tour athlete.
“Another layer on the cake is using my own experience to draw from to help other women in sport. My coaching business has been an addition and a big transition to whom I am becoming as a female athlete with SIC.”
Her days now look quite different from when she was charging the APP World Tour, looking for that top spot on the podium which she earned for herself in 2019. When she wakes up, she takes time for meditation and visualization often at sunrise on the beach where she lives in Florida. Then she goes for a long walk repeating to herself her affirmations on joy, gratitude and beauty for the day. Following that is breakfast, taking client calls for her coaching business, gentle yoga, reading, another walk and then sleep. She is in quiet mode, awaiting her baby and reflecting on all her life has given her.
When asked what she would like to share about what she’s learned, she responds,
“Be patient. Hold your vision but don’t be afraid to let it shift or change as you evolve as a woman. Life never seems to unfold as we expect it to. Women, especially, can be hard on themselves when we have a goal. But, when we take the pressure off is usually when we perform better. So, rediscover your joy! And just go have fun.”
SIC Women: SUP Racer Jade Howson
Jade Howson, grom SUP super star from an early age, has been taking classes in Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii. After arriving in Hawaii in August of 2020, Jade was able to experience nine days of college life before everything was shut down from the pandemic. She came home and spent her first semester of college in Laguna Beach, CA taking virtual classes online and working in her dad’s surf shop, Harbor Surfboards in Seal Beach, where she enjoyed being at home.
Jade then returned to Hawaii for her second semester in 2021, immediately following the SIC Challenge in Hood River, Oregon.
Training, Study, Pandemic: Jade Honors Need to Pause
“This is where it gets interesting for me,” she says.
Jade arrived for her sophomore year in August of 2021 and quickly realized that she was not doing well in school. She admits that she was depressed and struggling and attributes it, in part, to the fact that she was part of the first wave of COVID students who had no prom, and no graduation ceremony.
“It got really hard mentally and I didn’t know what to do. I would try really, really hard at school. It’s just been a very interesting time,” she remarks.
Jade returned home after her fall semester in 2021 and recently decided to take a gap semester in Hawaii. She says she needs the time to focus on herself and plan what she wants to do next. She wants to paddle more and train a bit as those activities help her feel better.
Jade Howson is refreshingly honest about who she is and where she is in her life. When asked what she’d like to share about her lessons from her recent travails, she immediately responds,
“Everybody is in this really pivotal time right now as everything is beginning to open back up and we all find ourselves in transition. I thought it would be interesting to let people know that this well known 19-year-old paddler who lives in Hawaii has this to say: ‘It’s OK to not be OK.’ “
There is a lot of strength and self awareness in that statement. Thanks, Jade.
SIC Women: SUP Fishing Bri Andrassy
Bri Andrassy is a well known paddle fishing persona in Florida. Her enthusiasm for fishing and the outdoors brought even more opportunity when she was selected as one of the hosts of the TV paddle series ‘Facing Waves’ that airs on FOX Sports channel and the Nautical channel. She recently landed a marlin from her kayak.
However, fishing is not all that she does with her time. When Standup Journal caught up with Bri, she had just returned home from El Salvador where she took a group of her nursing students on a medical mission during their Spring Break in March 2022. There, they traveled in small groups into the communities where they went house-to-house to assess individual patients. If there was a health concern outside of what they could provide, the patient received a referral ticket to go to the mobile clinic to be seen by the doctor that same day. They also distributed food to families with severely limited resources.
Doctor of Nursing uses SUP Fishing to De-Stress
When asked what she has been up to in the last two years since COVID started, she says,
“I have been fishing as much as I can! My peace and sanity come from being on the water when the conditions allow me to get out there!. Last year I got my dream pet, Señor Sanchez, a 100% pure bred raccoon. Sanchez has filled my days with laughter. He likes to swim, so naturally I take him paddling and on the Sea-Doo so we can hang out at the sandbar. Fishing, diving, and spearing help fill the freezer. I am usually on the hunt for a fresh meal to share with friends and family.“
Bri is a doctor of nursing practice and a full-time professor of nursing, as well as a fishing maven. She says she likes to take every opportunity possible to share her knowledge with her students as they are the future of healthcare. As a doctor, she stresses the importance for holistic health care to treat the mind, body and spirit of every patient and says her time on the water is very therapeutic personally. Bri also encourages her own students to find resources for their own levels of stress as the nursing profession can be very challenging and managing one’s stress is a daily practice.
Taking Time Out on the Water
For herself, Bri believes that being on the water during COVID were some of the most freeing times she’s ever experienced.
“When everything was changing around me, the experience and love of being on the water did not. It was the one place where I could forget about all the craziness going on in the world. I lost a loved one to COVID. I was a Power of Attorney for that person and it was the hardest thing that I have ever experienced. It still hurts every day. After loving my family, and taking time to heal, I started taking my paddle board out to just paddle and spend time on the water. There was no filming, no social media. I was just enjoying the beauty around me. The healing that time brought to me was so very significant.”
When asked what she’d like to share from her past two years of experience, Bri offers this:
“I would say to do whatever you have to do to just get outside. It takes time and effort, but you won’t regret it. Overcome the fear and feel alive.”