If there was ever anyone who lived up to the moniker of versatile – Annabel Anderson is it.
Recognised as the Stand Up Paddle Athlete of the Decade, this multiple world champion who held the position of World #1 consecutively from 2012-2017 is as comfortable on a board as she is on a bike, running trails, surfing, foiling, skiing, co hosting TV shows, capturing mind blowing imagery, coaching and sharing her story as a key note speaker and mentor.
She’s won the biggest titles in the world and beaten most of the men in the process, but her eyes will light up just the same at the hint of a mission, the sniff of an adventure, helping others realise their full potential and bringing an idea to life.
Hailing from the idyllic mountain resort of Lake Wanaka in the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, it is Annabel’s uncanny ability to adapt and make the most out of what she finds on her doorstep regardless of season or location be it snow, mountains, rivers, oceans or even the concrete jungles of some of the biggest cities in the world that have been the secret sauce to allowing her to to be able to make lemons into lemonade on repeat.
It’s been a journey that was far from plain sailing and smooth seas.
Enduring no less than 11 major surgeries to her legs before the age of 24 these set backs did little more than build tenacity and resilience that saw her excel in the business world working for multinational companies and household brands before a fork in the road while living in London saw her athletic abilities emerge to the forefront once again as she blazed a trail, pioneered a sport, set the benchmarks of athletic performance looked like and gained equal opportunities for females in ocean sports along the way.
In 2018 she would need every ounce of this resilience to face her biggest challenge yet – one of which she was lucky to survive.
True to form, she has once again risen like a Pheonix from the ashes and emerged mentally, physcially and emotionally stronger than ever.
It’s this jack-of-all trades McGyver-like versatility of brains and heart that separate her from the pack and have allowed her to forge a unique trajectory combining both talent, performance, passion and experience across business, sport and life alike.