Meet Ashley, the nine-to-five sales rep who doesn't let an hour-long commute keep her from surfing before work.
Ashley embodies the First Light Surf Club mentality. She's consistently out almost every morning before the sun rises and no matter the swell or temperature, she's always smiling and stoked to surf. It can be easy for work and long commutes to get you down, but Ashley doesn't let it. I sat down with Ashley to ask about her pre-work routine and learn what keeps her motivated and smiling.
Q. What got you into surfing and where’s your favorite spot to go?
Ashley - I surfed a bit when I was younger, but really started surfing consistently a little over a year ago. I began surfing on a regular basis because it was something to do in the morning with my dad and brother. We all surf Grandview in Encinitas together just about every morning now which has been pretty priceless.
Q. What do you do for work and what time do you have to get there in the morning?
Ashley - I’m a Sales Rep at a Braincare company called Wave Neuroscience in Cardiff and I typically try to be at my office by 8:30 am.
Q. What motivates you to wake up early and surf before work?
Ashley - Well, I do have to admit that I am naturally more of a morning person, but I genuinely can’t imagine a better way to start my day than in the ocean spending time with my family and friends. Also - random mental health/neuroscience fact - getting first light sunlight in the morning is one of the best natural things you can do to boost your mood and overall mental health! :)
Q. What's your morning routine look like on the days you surf before work?
Ashley - Well, I live in Fallbrook, which is about 45 minutes away from Grandview. So, I typically wake up around 4:00 am, drink a cup of coffee…or two, pack my car with everything that I could ever potentially need for that day, and leave my house at 5:00 am.
Q. How do you make sure you get to work on time after a dawn patrol surf?
Ashley - I am lucky enough to work just 10 minutes south of Grandview off of the 101 in Cardiff & have a full shower at my office, so I am able to pretty easily get ready for the day there.
Q. Any tips for someone who might be thinking of trying to get a surf in before work?
Ashley - I think the most helpful tool I found was simply finding someone to go with. Internal motivation is much harder than outside pressure from a friend. I also personally love the community feel of surfing the same spot every morning. You get to know everyone in the lineup - and trust me, they’ll hold you accountable and notice if you miss a few days.
Also, I promise you - despite the fact that especially during the winter it can be hard to get out of bed and get into cold water - I have never once regretted paddling out.
And just for the record, Ashley charges. Here's a photo of her from a recent surf trip to Nicaragua.