Many of you women who love the sea and sports will have asked yourself some questions about what their life would be like once they were mothers. Will we still be able to manage our passions together with the multiple responsibilities that being a mother in our times presupposes?

If already at present we can barely make our work appointments coincide with our beloved sessions at sea, how will we do it when we add the most beautiful thing in the world, our children, to all this?

We met Valentina Marconi, surfer for more than twenty years, dentist and mother of three beautiful children.

Hi Valentina! Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, I'm Valentina Marconi, I'm 39 but I still feel like a 20-year-old. I love surfing and between one wave and another I became a dentist and mother of three nice and super demanding children.

Let's start with the basics: surfing and pregnancy, how did you experience them?

Since the beginning I have lived the pregnancy without deprivations of any kind, apart from the last 2 months in which honestly even tying my shoes becomes an impossible mission, I have not even thought for a minute of putting surfing aside.

I was quite determined in facing my gynecologist, he understood me and gave me his approval, as he said: doing something I loved would only benefit the baby on the way. I've always enjoyed surfing and when I couldn't row lying down I kept rowing on my knees as long as I could.

All right one, but three pregnancies at three different ages are something else. Don't tell us you've never been afraid in the water...

I always surfed during all three pregnancies, avoiding the colder periods since I couldn't physically get into the wetsuit.

I've had fear 2 or 3 times since I can remember, the first time I was expecting my first baby and after surfing a wave I ended up in foam and rocks, luckily a friend of mine was there and helped me out. The second time I was 7 months pregnant and a wipeout knocked me on the sand luckily I got away with a scratch on my shoulder.

The third time I was in the middle of the ocean when a group of people started pointing at a fin that was floating around us. For the rest, I have always felt great joy and very strong emotions surfing while pregnant.

After giving birth, how long did it take for your body to get back in shape to get on a board?

The real problem is right there. Because your body changes completely without asking your permission. Change the center of gravity, change the way you feel your body on the board, you don't have strength due to sleepless nights, breastfeeding, the great responsibility that you suddenly find yourself having to manage.

Luckily all this passes over time, but great passion, willpower and determination are needed to get back to what you were before. The time it took me to get back in shape was different for each post pregnancy.

The longest was after the first, since I wasn't prepared for the changes I was going to go through, but my desire to go back to sliding on the waves has always been the same, so I started again a month after giving birth along with the hormones and totally screwed up emotions. The pool workout, yoga and power ups helped.

You are the mother of two beautiful girls and a boy who have already approached the world of surfing, did you involve them or was it their wish?

The biggest wish I always had, even before having children, was to be able to surf with my children. It is the pinnacle of happiness to be able to share your greatest passion with the people you love the most in the world. So the poor fellows are born surrounded by boards, paraffins and surf videos and are dragged on trips to the most famous surfing destinations.

My eldest daughter is a sweet and fearful girl and I immediately thought that surfing could be therapeutic for her, I thought that learning to manage the force of the sea would give her more self-confidence. So after my slight insistence he started to approach the table.

Then the passion grew! The second is instead a very lively, tough and determined girl and after a couple of years of total refusal to surf, last summer she surprised me by asking me for a board and wanting to start surfing without my help.

The little boy of the house, having always had many limitations in carrying out activities together with his older sisters, immediately had a great desire to try surfing.

What image do your girls have of you as a surfer mom? Do they want to imitate you?

My little mermaids see me as a multifaceted person, a mother with a great passion who lives despite the limitations of life. They get excited when in the evening I tell my vicissitudes at sea.

I don't know if one day they will want to follow my example and become surfers but my greatest wish is that they find a passion as strong as mine for surfing.

What do you teach your kids about the world of surfing, mainly the girls we know are in the minority at least for now?

I teach them respect for nature and the sea every day by taking them to educational meetings dedicated to the protection of the oceans where through games they begin to understand the importance of respecting the marine environment.

When we go to the beach we compete to see who collects the most plastic, glass or dirt in general. I have also always taught girls that there is no toy for girls or boys, nor a sport, especially if the desire to succeed in that thing beats strong in the heart.

So I show them photos and videos of many women, girls and boys from all over the world who share a great passion, certain that soon the women's quota will also increase in the water, if only because most of my surfer friends have daughters.

In addition to being a beautiful mother you are also a career woman, how much time can you carve out to surf?

I like to say that in my free time I work, but what kind of free time?! unfortunately the role of woman, mother, wife, human being over 30, involves many commitments and responsibilities. The time I can cut out is not so much.

Dawn is definitely the easiest time to escape without anyone grabbing my legs and obviously on vacation.

It's extremely frustrating not being able to go to the beach when you know there are beautiful waves, the suffering you feel is indescribable, but it gives you the energy to be ready and organized for the next storm.

How do you imagine your life in the future?

As I said I still feel like a little girl and I hope to be able to live, as long as I have strength on my legs and air in my lungs, on the waves in the sea or in the ocean and continue to experience great emotions, perhaps together with my children.

I would like to be able to move to a place where the waves are not a problem like in Italy and see my children grow up free. I have competed many times in Italy and who knows, I would like one day to be able to represent Italy in some important international competition.

Valeria Donati