Success ain’t no slippery slope for Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin
Snowboarding season may be grinding down in Australia, but Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin is carving out a name for himself with the launch of his latest project, Chumpy’s Boarding House. When he’s not mentoring young snowboarders you can find him cooking a healthy meal with his girlfriend El or surfing in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
We chatted with Chumpy to find out what it takes to make it both on and off the slopes.
What is your health philosophy? Has it changed in recent years?
I wouldn’t say I have it down to a philosophy as such, but I just try to get a good balance of everything. I eat well, have a good sleep routine and listen to my body for when I might need more of either.
I train most days, either in the gym or on the snow if I’m in Hotham, and that allows me to get into a routine that my body loves. But overall, sleeping well is probably the biggest part for me. If I can get early nights, it makes the biggest difference to how I feel when I wake up and start the day.
What is your daily fitness routine?
When I’m home on the Northern Beaches, I wake up at around 6.30am and do some rolling and stretching. Then I head to check the waves and hopefully get a surf in for a couple of hours before hitting the gym.
My session usually lasts one to two hours including a stretch and cool down session. Then I might head to find another wave if it’s still on somewhere! Finally, I’ll always have another good stretch and roll before dinner.
What’s your favourite exercise apart from snowboarding?
Away from the slopes, it has to be surfing.
What do you eat on a general day?
Breakfast: I go through phases with what I eat for breaky. Right now I’m loving eggs and avo with tomatoes. Plus some fruit – usually a banana.
Snacks: I snack on more fruit throughout the day… they’re easy things to have in my car between surfing and the gym.
Lunch: I love to grab a couple of sushi rolls, usually tuna and avo, for a quick and easy feed after the gym.
Dinner: It depends on the day of the week, but I’m really into making homemade pasta and my girlfriend El cooks a really good chicken and veggie sauce with broccoli. Sometimes I whip up a chicken curry, or El and I will make a big salad with grilled meat.
What’s your favourite healthy recipe?
I don’t actually have a favourite recipe — I just try to get a good balance of everything through my day and week.
My girlfriend and I like cooking at home, so if we can get to the markets and pick up a heap of fresh veggies and fruit, then it sets us up well to make lots of great meals. I spend a lot of energy during the days in a training block, so it’s really about giving my body the fuel to recover and keep my intensity up through the week.
What’s your food splurge?
I don’t feel that guilty about it, but chocolate and cold milk is pretty good sometimes!
What other upcoming projects are you working on?
This season, Red Bull is helping me to bring my passion project to life — something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. During our winter, I often catch up with and coach a lot of the junior riders coming through in Boardercross. So building on that, we’re launching Chumpy’s Boarding House so I can really focus on a select group of talented young SBX riders and help them prepare for the challenges they have ahead of them.
I want to pass on knowledge in all areas of what’s involved in being a world tour snowboarder. Any skills and tips I can hand on to them to prepare for their competition — training, travel, cooking, media tips, photo shoots and so on. I won’t say too much now, as there will be plenty of surprises that will hopefully challenge and expand the riders’ skills in every area. I’m really excited about it!
Is there a motto that you live by?
My dad had a pretty good one that he used to say to me when I was younger. “The brave and the generous have the best lives, because they are seldom sorry.” I still really like that and think about it a lot.
What gives you the greatest joy – in your sport and also in life and what are the most challenging aspects?
I’ve been snowboarding and competing for many years now, but I still get such a kick out of competition at the top level. If I really think about a moment that fills my whole body with joy, excitement and energy, it’s when I’m crossing the line having won an event. I always feel really complete on the day of a big win.
SBX is such a challenging sport when it comes to staying healthy throughout a whole season, as well as motivated during the times when you’re in a run of bad luck. So that’s what makes all of the emotions surface right as I cross the line. It’s such a great feeling.
Aside from the competitive side of my life, I really love being at home. By home I mean being in Australia, with my girlfriend, family and friends. I can feel so good just taking it in and appreciating it all. It’s a totally different kind of joy, but I really think I’m the kind of person that needs a balance of both in my life. I feel very lucky to have that in my life right now.
If you could give young snowboarders one piece of advice on how to go pro, what would it be?
Reality is the best teacher if you use it to adapt and grow. Keep it simple, keep it real and enjoy every bit of it.
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