Work better, train harder, love longer!
Luke Stedman is a man I’ve known for two decades, one of those rare surfers who, although never highly monied, flourished post tour.
Recently, Luke, who is forty-five, moved from California to just behind Lennox Head to form a family cocoon, a commune, around his Daddy Shane, creator of the ugg boot and the eponymous surfboard manufacturer SHANE.
Shane, just turned eighty although still squirting testosterone, is a few months out of surgery to remove “balloons” in his chest. These growths squashed his lungs, reducing his ability to breathe by eighty-five percent.
Couple the fibrous growths with emphysema and Luke says his old boy could barely walk to the end of the street without stopping to suck in gutfuls of air, as if he’d just run a marathon.
So, six months ago, they sold the family house of almost forty years at 61 Hillcrest Avenue at Mona Vale there for five mill and bought a hunk of land at Tintenbar, five miles north-west of Ballina.
“Buying some land, throwing a couple of shacks on it and moving dad up the coast so he can watch the grandkids and we can keep an eye on the old grommet,” Luke said.
Around that time, Luke started wearing a WHOOP, primarily to understand his sleeping patterns.
Like most of us, Luke figured he was getting a ton of sleep, couldn’t work out why he was tired some days.
His WHOOP revealed, as it did to me, that “I wasn’t sleeping as good as I thought. REM not as much. Waking up more than I thought. When you’re half-asleep you don’t understand how often you’re waking up or getting out of bed.”
With that info, Luke worked with a naturopath to get onto various supplements, to help change his sleep patterns,
“Now, I feel way better, recover quick, perform better.”
He discovered that his recovery was based on the amount of water he’d drink during the day, as well as sleep and rest.
Luke says he knows his body pretty well but his strap helped him identify which parts of his wildly active day – training others early, surfing, strangling men at jiujitsu, training kids, maybe surfing again – he needed to cut back on so he wasn’t feeling perpetually drained.
Once he got comfortable understanding the metrics of his own physical behaviour, Luke strapped his WHOOP onto his old boy’s wrist to monitor his general heart and his recovery.
He says it’s the “best thing ever, it allowed me to understand my dad day to day. When you get older you become like a young kid and you lie like a young kid. I’ll say, ‘Hey Dad, did you walk today’ and he’ll say, ‘Yeah, mate!’ and then I’ll look at his WHOOP and see it’s actually at five-point-five or whatever (twenty-one is the theoretical max). All he did was walk around the dining table!”
Sleep is the “wildest” metric, says Luke.
Shane wakes up all through the night, has long breaks of being awake and his REM (deep sleep period) is low.
So, same with Luke, they worked on ways to get Daddy Shane sleeping all through the night. The heart rate monitor ain’t a bad thing to have on a stud well into his winter years, either.
“We all know Dad will live to be one hundred but we want to make sure our eyes are on him. As you get older, you realise the importance of family and having your community around you. I want to hang out with him while I can.”