Balance for better. My thoughts about being a women

Q&A for surf stitch International Women’s Day collaboration - Read Full Article

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Harriet Brown and I am a Surf Ironwoman. I compete in the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series as well as distance paddleboard races such as the Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard World Champs where currently I hold the world record. I was Captain of the 2018 Australian Surf life Saving Team and work part time as an Exercise Physiologist. I am passionate about living an active lifestyle filled with adventure and healthy food.

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What is your story, how did you end up working in your industry?

I grew up in Geelong, Victoria which is a 30 minute drive from the beach. I was always an outdoorsy, sporty girl and competitive from an early age. I played many sports throughout school but Surf Life Saving was always my favourite. I used to beg my parents to drive me down to the beach for training, I couldn’t get enough. When I finished school I moved to the Gold Coast to study at Bond University and train at Northcliffe Surf Club. I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a professional Ironwoman.

What does being a women mean to you?

Being a women is being comfortable in your own skin and not apologising for who you are. Being a women is being kind and compassionate yet strong and independent. The way the world is shifting there are more and more opportunities for women, which excites me so much!


 Who did you look up to as a girl?

I have always looked up to the women I am surrounded by. I looked up to my sister in so many ways, not necessarily for her sporting achievements but for the way she applied herself to everything she did. She seems to achieve so much into her week yet still have time for those she cares about. In sport, I always looked up to the older girls in my surf club. I tried to match them in training even if they were annoyed with me. I was that younger girl who wouldn’t leave their side at training.


 How does being a women give you an advantage in your industry?

In my sport I really don’t see much difference between our genders as we are treated equally. I know this hasn’t always been the case. One advantage I do see for women in sport in general is that we will always have someone to chase at training. It is well known that men are generally stronger than us. Even if you’re the fastest girl in your club you there is always a guy to chase. I see this as a great advantage to women in sport to reach our potential.

What do you love the most about being a women?

I love that I can be myself and be appreciated for exactly who I am. I am strong and determined yet sensitive and caring. I love having so many inspiring women around me and cherish my friends. 

What advice would you give other women wanting to succeed in their industry?

Dream big and be patient. Hard work and dedication pays off but it may take time. I wasn’t always one of the best Ironwomen. It has taking me a long time to climb my way to the top. I have had so many doubts about whether I would make it or if it’s worth the effort. But if you love what you do, it will be always worth it in the end. Enjoy the journey and don’t always focus on the results.

 Are you seeing positive change for women in your industry? If so, How?

I am one of the lucky ones. My sport of Surf Lifesaving has seen equal prize money since before I started racing and equal distances for the past few years. Guys and girls are treated as equally. This is exactly how it should be. 

Harriet Brown