Kingscliff surf champ Stephanie Gilmore is honoured with a Girlfriend role model award.
Kingscliff surf champ Stephanie Gilmore is honoured with a Girlfriend role model award. Crystal Spencer

Steph named Girlfriend guru

KINGSCLIFF surfing world champion Stephanie Gilmore has been voted the 2009 Ultimate Guru Role Model by Girlfriend magazine readers.

With her sporting prowess, constant smile and happy-go-lucky demeanour, she proved a good fit with the Girlfriend's Think Do Be Positive campaign.

“Happy Gilmore”, as the champion is known, told Girlfriend she was humbled and felt great to be able to share her knowledge and experiences to inspire others.

Enjoying the simple things in life plus having a hobby and good friends are the keys to being happy, according to Gilmore.

“I think growing up in a small town with grounded parents played a big part in me being pretty happy-go-lucky,” she told the magazine.

“My sisters and I learnt to appreciate the simple things in life, and for as long as I can remember I just found it easier for myself and everybody around me if I just went with the flow.

“I liked spending time with my friends, even if it was at school. Going to class wasn't exactly my favourite thing to do during the day, but I'm glad that I stayed and completed my HSC. Now I really feel like I'm living a lifestyle that even I still dream about.”

While Gilmore said happiness was something everyone should strive for, trying too hard could prove self-defeating.

“People tend to gravitate towards happy people because happiness is something everybody should feel. I think “trying” to be happy and “feeling” happy are completely different things though, and that's where you can get mixed up because your efforts in “trying” to be happy don't always live up to your own expectations.

“Make sure you're giving yourself the time of day to fulfil a hobby or passion. This is true happiness. I feel instantly happy by listening to my favourite music, going for a paddle in the ocean, or just passing on a smile.”

And, of course, Gilmore said achieving a dream was a special feeling.

“To dream of something, put in the effort and groundwork to physically make it happen, then actually pull it off and feel it in real life, is the best.

“For me, performing on a wave out in the surf and being in rhythm with the ocean is such a phenomenal feeling, but getting barrelled is also the best thing ever! Different experiences make you feel alive.

“I always say that if you love something enough, then you'll find a way to succeed and make it work.

“I truly believe that everything happens for a valuable reason, and when it comes to boys, don't settle for less! And just because everyone else is doing something, it doesn't mean that it's cool.

“A saying my sister uses a lot is 'give chance a chance', which I think is a pretty cool thing to have in the back of your mind.”

“Make sure you're giving yourself the time of day to fulfil a hobby or passion. That is true happiness.” Steph Gilmore


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