Shae Foudy is a superstar. She won the London SUP Open, Paris SUP Open, Gorge Paddle Challenge, finished a close second at the New York SUP Open (26 seconds behind Candice Appleby), placed in the top three at the Pacific Paddle Games, won her first World Title, and was awarded “Female Paddler of the Year” by SUP the Mag – all in 2018.
Alongside her status as a top athlete in SUP racing, Foudy maintains the approachable demeanor of a Southern California beach girl and a desire to inspire and positively impact others. For example, she recently took time out from her schedule as a professional athlete and college student to speak to over 100 middle school girls about her journey as a young female athlete.
Even Superstars Have Challenges
“At the ripe young age of 15, I was dealing with common teenage troubles like peer pressure, stress, self-esteem, and school. In addition, as an athlete I was competing against women twice my age and not all were kind to me,” Foudy explained. These were challenging times that forced Foudy to find her own way and provide the fuel for her passion to give back whenever possible. She actively seeks opportunities to support young girls not just in standup paddling, but in finding their purpose and pursuing their goals.
Her powerful message is to “continue pushing even despite constant setbacks”. It took Foudy five years to earn a world title. She had to train constantly even with an injury. Her incredible perseverance translates to school as well. Foudy is finishing her associates degree in nutrition, taking demanding classes like chemistry, microbiology, and microchemistry. She constantly faces setbacks and in spite of those challenges, she continues studying and training with renewed dedication.
Foudy explained, “I am often pushed to my boundaries physically, mentally, and emotionally as an athlete.” These challenges helped mold her into the person she is today. Foudy is deeply grateful for all that the sport of standup paddling has given her at such a young age. Her experiences training and competing in the States and around the world has taught her that life is grand, full of possibilities, and dreams do come true.
Setting Goals and Crushing Them
At the conclusion of the 2018 racing season Foudy posted, “I have been dreaming of the accomplishments I made in 2018 since I stepped on a paddle board for the first time.”
Talk about dreaming big and staying focused. How did she do it? Making dreams come true requires regular and consistent effort. Get crystal clear on your dream, then “set your goal; small short terms goals and long terms goals”. Next Foudy explained, “You must constantly remind yourself and focus on your goals every single day.”
On Comfort Zones
Foudy’s favorite motivational quote is, “Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone”. There is no growth without fear or doubt. Do something every day that scares you. It does not have to be something as extreme as open water paddling in gnarly conditions like the New York SUP Open, where Foudy admitted she was afraid of drowning.
“Maybe you are afraid to make eye contact with a stranger and smile at them, but do it anyway,” she said. Afterwards you will see that there was nothing to be afraid of. This little act will boost your confidence to tackle another scary thing and that is how you will make your dreams come true.
Thank you for the inspiration Shae. We cannot wait to learn what else you have been dreaming about.