Dominique Miller, professional Afro-Latina (Black/Mexica) female surfer who finds balance in her strengths and calmness. She is one of the very first people we have interviewed who defined herself as a calm and serene person.
Tell us about your journey to become a professional surfer. Is it your childhood dream? If it is not, what did you want to be when you were a child? What was the “aha moment” inspired you to become a surfer?
My name is Dominique Miller and I am a professional Afro-Latina (Black/Mexica) surfer that competes on the app stand up world tour and the wsl longboard world tour. I currently live in Honolulu, HI.
I got into surfing a lot later in life. In middle school and high school I was more focused on cross country running and lacrosse. I got a scholarship to run cross country in college. During this time I got heavily into surfing. I started competing in contests after a few years of surfing and then on the world tour. I have been ranked as high as Fifth in the world. My current dream is to one day be a world champion. I want to inspire more POC to get in the water and surf!
As a woman, do you find it more challenging to succeed in your domain compared to your male counterpart? What challenges have you encountered on the journey? How did you conquer it? Was it part of the experience that lead you to advocacy in women empowerment?
I think it has gotten a lot easier in surfing to succeed as a female. We now get equal pay as the males and we have just as many contests to compete in. Also the exposure for female surfing has gone way up. I now see many more female surfers on tv, magazines and the internet.
What does serenity mean to you?
Serenity to me means being at peace, or at a calm state in your mind, life, or surroundings.
Did the sea bring serenity to your life? If yes, why? If no, where did you find serenity?
The ocean has definitely brought a lot of serenity into my life. Water is such a soothing and powerful entity in my life. Every time I surf or swim I always feel more relaxed and happy. I also feel a sense of serenity when I’m out in the middle of the ocean surrounded by all its beauty and vastness. It really puts into perspective how small we are in this huge world.
Are you a calm, serene person? If not, since when you become one and why?
I do believe I am a very calm and serene person. I was always pretty quiet and shy growing up and even now I have come more out of my shell but I am still very introverted. In most situations I take my time to analyze things and don’t chime in unless I feel confident enough to which I think are traits of a calm person.
As a professional surfer, stressful and emotion management is crucial for staying focus and maintaining resilience? How do you manage to balance between competitiveness and calmness?
As a pro surfer it can be super stressful at times when I have to travel by myself to a contest outside of the US. Also while I’m in the contest it can be stressful knowing that all your training has come down to one 15min heat where you either make it to the next round or get eliminated. I manage this by traveling with my boyfriend or family member to help give me support during and before contests. Sometimes you need positive people around you to keep your mind and spirit on the right track. It also helps to have a familiar face to talk to. When It’s just me I cope with the stress by trying to take a deep breath and closing my eyes and visualizing what I need to get done.
During the pandemic, did it impose any impact on your life? How did you manage to get through it? What did it inspire you?
During the pandemic it actually gave me much more time to surf and relax. Before Covid I was working a lot more and not having as much time to enjoy the things I love. In Hawaii everything was pretty much closed but the ocean so I got to spend even more time surfing/training and enjoying empty beaches.
Are you a tea drink? What is your favourite tea? What does tea play a role in your life – for connecting or for quality self-time?
I used to be a way bigger tea drinker (on the mainland) than I am now. Living in Hawaii it’s so hot that I drink a lot more water and smoothies. My favorite tea would definitely have to be peppermint tea. I love the aroma and the soothing affects it has especially when you are sick.
Can you share three tips for our readers if they would like to live a serene / mindful life?
Three tips I have for living a more serene life is:
- Do the things you love, whatever hobby, sport, job, ect. is important to you. I think doing what we love fills our hearts with more happiness and joy.
- Surround yourself with good people and family. It’s important to have positive people that support you and your dreams.
- Take time to relax and sleep. I feel like in recent times or world is so fast pace that we get caught up in the mix and worn down. It’s okay to take test days if you need them not everything has to be right now!
Get more inspiration from Dominique.