Tuesday, 6 August 2013

'Portfolio' - Some photographs of my life, and special moments taken in the glimpse of a second...

My life has had a lot of injuries, but turn it upside down, and it becomes amazing.
Someone once asked me, Sophia... Why do you smile so much? You broke your back and spent three years struggling, your dreams collapsed, you had to leave your beloved mountains and your sport, snowboarding, you were unfulfilled and yet you kept on smiling and laughing all throughout.
I answered him, if it hadn't been for smiling... I wouldn't be where I am today. Because of smiling, I got stronger and now that I am active again I have found my true life passion, windsurfing. Since a little girl I dreamt of waves and oceans although I was never able to spend time near them. Growing up in the mountains in the Pyrennees I spent my teenage years snowboarding - mostly in Norway and the Alps. When I broke my back during a snowboarding competition at 19 my world had to change, for three years I had to lie down for most of the time, with pain - but I was also given a new chance in life. Thanks to my back I really discovered windsurfing. These photos track some of my life within the last couple of years, since I have been well, where I've been and what I've done and why it is important to keep smiling. Because everything just gets better and better when you smile.

Many pictures are of me just walking, but just walking is so special to me after my injury and I still remember the tears in my eyes the day I walked again. And for a long time that is all I could do. When I say all, I mean ALL, walking is everything. So much more important than what your next job or issue is. Please remember, when you wake up, for all those who can not walk anymore, the gift we have. 

Now, I am at the PWA wave windsurfing world cup in Canary Islands, it was going to be my first time competing on the world tour but I fractured my foot. Is something wanting to stop me? Nevermind, I will come back next time.

I am just a girl, following my passion, going on thrilling adventures- traveling on my own- for life is our greatest teacher.
Fear only fear itself.

                                               The world is a beautiful place, take time to admire it

Norway powder
Be gentle with the earth

Windsurfing alone in Ireland January 2013

 Daily Mail UK half page, August 2013
Windsurfing in Scotland
                   Everything you are searching for, is already inside you                                                   
Barbados                                         Brian Talma's artwork sail
                                                          My windsurf training location in Ireland January 2013
                   St Andrews, traveling to the next competition, after coming second at the prestigious european Tiree Wave Classic 2012
Going windsurfing in winter paradise - my car parked on the perfect spot 
The most amazing thing with windsurfing, is that you can go and 'play' in this powerful energy - only with windsurfing can you go out here, and that is what I love so much, the power of the wind and waves together, the raw and wildness, the freedom, and going out there for a thrilling adventure
Windsurfing and competing in Scotland
Brandon Bay

Stand Up Paddle at my home in Spain, 5 min walking down the dirt track from my house to the little beach before dinner time
Sit and enjoy your own silence, for the present moment is the only one which will ever exist
Ireland, Brandon Bay 2012

My home view in Spain

Preparing my gear at home before flying off for world tour competitions
Thanks to my amazing equipment sponsors Fanatic, North Sails, Puravida, K66
Front Cover shots for coming 2nd in Uk women at my first ever competition - National UK Wave discipline - still with problems of my broken back

I run barefoot in the forests, I sleep alone under the stars in the mountains, I fall, I get up, I fall again, and I get up again, I am part of this world with it`s hardness and joys, and so are you. So go play again.
Climbing in Norway
Brasil during university winter holiday 2011

             Doing a public samba dance show in Brasil after being asked to perform just us two, in between my studies
My first competition, UK european wave tour, second place
                              Carribean... Magical moments of freedom - sailing out to the reef &waves

                              2011 - first time windsurfing in waves
                                                                     Solo adventures - surf trip - my van and me
        Stay wild, don't let life tame you 

Whatever you think you have to do today, start your day with a smile, a real positive grateful smile, powerful stuff 

                                                      Walk through your life with confidence, for only you can

Never stop exploring...  fjord adventure in Norway
Filming for a promotional movie in Morocco
There's no room for worrying, or being half you, just be you, be strong, smile, and be grateful
                                        Dark, beautiful, raw Ireland
Daily Record August 2013
                                                             Daily Record UK October 2012
                                                                  Daily Star UK October 2012
                                                         Some newspapers I've been in
The Sun UK 2012
                                                       Daily Mail UK October 2012
                     Only your eyes can see what you want to see - 
                                whatever you chose to see in life, you will probably see - so chose wisely
                  2nd place in Women Uk national competition Tiree, Scotland, 2011

                            2nd in women in Uk championships - Tiree 2012
  Leaving home in Spain for a month of competitions, world tour and national wave tours, September 2013 
Flashback 2011 first time in waves - editorial

Flying the British flag on my first year on the WaveWindsurfing World Tour 2013
       PWA World Tour at our hotel for wine and cheese evening with world cup crew and riders, and room mate Justyna Sniady
Ready to sail our heat for the world cup in Pozo, Gran Canaria, pic by Windsurfjournal.com
In our hotel room with kitesurfing champions Angela Peral and Hannah Whiteley when invited as the girls to represent our sport at the Sosh Extreme Sports World Cup 2013, Marseilles, South of France
CNN filming
Gran Canaria, first world cup, Pozo 2013, with my favorite FANATIC board, Thank you to my sponsors Fanatic, NorthSails
Travelling to Windsurf World Cup in Sylt, Germany, September 2013, 200 000 spectators, with my gear, as always quite a mission on my own
Windsurf World Cup 2013, Sylt - Island off North Germany
At the World Cup in Sylt, team Britain
Signing autographs at my sponsors Fanatic tent with the team riders
A normal week day at my home in the mountains - Andorra
Outside my house - Spain
There is no peace such as the one in the depths of the oceans <3
Only you can get you where you want to be, so stand tall, and start walking
Tiree Inner Hebrides Scotland 
Take a look at each little step you make, in the end each little step is what gets you there
Backflips on the beach with my brother

Smile and the world smiles back at you
Cry and you cry alone
My first car - Willy - Parked outside my house in Spain - ready for a surf trip
Portugal with my van Willy

Tunisia - shooting for a promotional movie for Sncm ferries France and Tourist Office Tunisia
One of the many beautiful bedrooms the crew put me up in whilst filming the project
          Filming on deck with the film crew on the ferry to Tunisia 
                       Champagne reception from the captain for the film crew on board Sncm ferry on way to Tunisia
           Filming for the promo film in my en-suite bedroom on the Sncm ferry from France to Tunisia
The promotional film Vip special crew dinner Tunisia
The film crew, Sncm, and Tunisia Tourism office escorting us to breakfast from the hotel
                                                                        Breakfast waiting for film crew
                             Wonderful food we had during the week of shooting                                                                                   
                                                                       One of the filming locations
Relax time

Sleeping in the desert in Tunisia with film crew

Home in the Pyrennees- Take a deep breath of fresh air...you need it more than food
My University... St Andrews, Scotland
The class rooms I spent many years and hours working in for my Masters degree.
                                                           Our beautiful medieval University town                            

                                                                           University Balls

                                                                         St Andrews, jogging between lectures
                                                              Years spent studying in this beautiful little golf town
                                             My great grandmother's ball gown
Magical St Andrews University 
                                                                  St Andrews University balls and Scottish dancing
     My graduation St Andrews, with our wonderful professors
          Receiving my Masters Degree in Sustainable Development

Look around you while you walk, you never know what you might see...

Sailing... Journeys of discovery
                                                               Freedom is a path you chose to walk
Norway, shooting with Bula
Sometimes life brings you too much choice                                    
Stop and be a second... The treasure has been within us all along, we just got lost in the search for it, and ended up with a pile of things and statuses we don't know what to do with.      
                                                                   Birds can fly so can we                          Brian Talma's sail
                                                                       Home in Spain
    National UK competitions and wearing the yellow winner rashvest of the week - Ireland
                               Look into each other's souls, love and respect one another, we are all here together
Beautiful times shared with my brother
                                                         Brother & sister fun times
The jump I broke my back on at the snowboard competition (the biggest one on the right) - Pyrennees. I took far too much speed and totally overshot the landing slope landing on the flat part at the bottom, which you can not see in the picture.
Broken back, broken arm, neck injury, worrying days spent not knowing if I will ever walk again. But life was kind to me, and although very close, I was so fortunate to walk again.
                                                                Finally standing after a long time with my broken back
My armour I had to wear for more than a year and also sleep with  
19 years old and a broken back - hospital- and broken arm - 3 years out - no sport
For 2 years I could hardly sit even to eat, I had to lie down constantly. Today, I can do everything, but my back still hurts 5 years later. The mental and physical suffering teaches you so much about life...  
 The view from my room at the rehab center I spent 2 summers in - CERS Capbreton Hossegor, although it was frustrating looking at everyone surfing from the windows of our rehab room it is the best rehab in Europe and became my new little home, thank you to my amazing physios and doctors there especially Signe Elise Gorholt and Philippe
Getting my yoga instructor qualification in Maui, Hawaii, May 2013
Maui, Hawaii - 
The new passion in my life since the end of my snowboarding life - Windsurfing
                                    Go to that place inside of you and outside you which makes you happy
                                                                  Every sunset brings you a new chance
                                                           Just smile, and it all gets better
              Find your path, and walk it firmly


  1. Beautiful inspirational pictures and words

  2. Sophia you are such am amazing example to us all with your strength, beauty and love. Your story is remarkable and such an inspiration. I hope through your fight of breaking your back people can maintain hopes in their lives and never give up.Thank you for showing many of us the way to look at the world and keep on hoping for better lives. YOU ARE OUR ANGEL SENT FROM HEAVEN and you are also just -plain sexy

  3. BAMM, you kind of sick girl, like my DREAM GIRL, how can you even be real... Thanks for sharing your world with us

  4. I think I've just fallen in love...

  5. I LOVE YOU, you so different

  6. Wow I'd be proud and happy if I'd done half of what you've managed to do in such a short time... Break back, then do masters at top elite University in the world, struggling standing up in lectures, then start windsurfing because can't compete snowboarding anymore, first year come second at national uk competition, then the next year start on the world tour! pretty unbelievable i say... And get a yoga qualification, as well as be a beautiful person and soul, not give up and produce positivity and sunshine wherever you go, maybe you should give talks on how to succeed in life?

  7. And all that within what, three years??

  8. Blissful girl you are, keep on spreading your light and joy, what a perfect name you have, Wisdom and Joy, Aloha

  9. Can you teach me? Any of the sports really I don't mind :-)

  10. Tears in my eyes reading you, you are a real inspiration and embassador for your sport

  11. call it self-marketing

  12. Yes that's what a 'portfolio' is for isn't it? This girl is amazing and has been through a lot, she is the perfect example of how to cope with and look at life. She is an inspiration to many of us, most of us people don't have her drive and courage, it's not always easy as a girl on your own, personally I think she should be marketed more, and while we are busy talking on the sidelines this girl is one which will get where she wants to be, she's a model example, with rare and beautiful values attached to her, so let's be thankful there are still some girls like this, good quality, and I'm happy to be able to see this

  13. Sunshine girl :-)

  14. Sophiaaa!!! MISS YOUR BEAUTIFUL SMILE!!!