Not many people get the chance to say that they have accomplished their childhood dreams. But at 23, Laura Crane has already been there, done that and won the trophies to prove it. ‘I struggled with school, but surfing kept me sane,’ explains the two-time British Surfing champion. ‘It was the one thing I was good at.’
The Bristol-born beauty discovered her talent for surfing at the age of 11 after her family moved to the small coastal village Croyde in North Devon. For most of her teens, Laura competed at national level and from there went global. She’s also represented Team GB for just under four years. ‘I had an amazing time,’ says Laura. 'I achieved my childhood dream; it was sick!’.
But that was just the tip of the iceberg. In 2018, Laura took the plunge appeared on ITV’s hit reality show Love Island. Her honest-talking, body-positive persona has since helped her rack up almost 620k Instagram followers.
She’s also gone on to raise money for charities all over the world and has launched her own YouTube channel (@LauraCrane), which is dedicated to fitness and the positive impact it has on mental health: “I’ll be working alongside the NHS to raise awareness in mental health, which my YouTube channel and series will be dedicated to. I hosted the Lady Garden boxing rumble in November which was a huge success so am looking forward to working further with them to help raise awareness”.
Here she talks body battles, home workouts and the gymwear she couldn’t live without…
Ride the wave
‘I’ve been into fitness since an early age as my family is super sporty,’ explains Laura. ‘I love yoga, skateboarding, snowboarding, running and hitting the weights. But, of course, surfing is my number one. ‘I’ve always loved the ocean but when I’m surfing, I forget about everything else. One minute you’re lying on a surfboard paddling, the next you’re looking for a wave, then you’re standing up and surfing. You don’t have time to think about anything that’s unnecessary.’
Fitness has always been more than a hobby for Laura. ‘We’re told how exercising is so good for you and I really believe it,’ she explains. ‘I feel better physically and mentally once I’ve done some. ‘Plus, when I’m in workout gear – whether I’m going to the gym or not – I just feel empowered. I like to do some sort of exercise every day. But first, I always make sure my hair is up so it won’t get in my way and I always have a fresh face, so you can sweat it out!’.
It’s not all about the surf though. ‘I normally do some yoga in the morning and I would usually go running and do an inside workout, like a mini circuit,’ says Laura. ‘A TRX (Total Resistance Exercise) is a great piece of equipment because you can use it to work your whole body.
‘It can be hard to get into a routine at first, but don’t overthink it. Just do it – you’ll feel amazing afterwards!’
‘I’d definitely say fitness means a lot to me,’ explains Laura. ‘It’s helped me through a lot of things and it’s a massive tool I use. ‘Back when I was younger, as well as being a professional athlete, I also modelled for brands. At the time, I thought I had to be skinny to be a model. But I also had this very strong body as a result of doing the sport I loved. ‘I was trying to be both, which was crazy because my body was never put on this earth to be stick thin.’
So how did appearing on the hit reality show of the summer – where she was rarely out of swimwear – make her feel? ‘If Love Island taught me one thing, it was how important it is to be you and not change for anyone else,’ says Laura. ‘We should all fully own our imperfections as there’s no need to dwell on them. Life is way too short to be worrying about body hang-ups.’
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