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"A Dream Against All Odds"
Living Authentically with LENA STÜBNER
“As a kid, I never imagined I would one day start a surf house.”
As a kid, I never imagined I would one day start a surf house. Life offers many surprises once you get out—they nestle like seeds in the back of your mind, until there is no turning back.
Ideas are not that innocent, crazy one might believe. They are probably the root of where you are right now. Think about it, what really brought you here?
As we grow older, tend to fit into society, change or uncertainty can pose a threat to people, divide them—the majority choosing to act "responsibly", the others dismissed as rebels. Take the younger self who dreams of being anything, but objects to it later in life. “Everything that turns static, dies at some point,” Lena said, “we are not made to resist change, we are made to embrace it.”
“Obsessions like money thoughts, fear of safety aren’t the major culprits.”
Unfortunately, identity plays such a role, that it restricts people from living honest lives. “I have always been true to myself,” Lena added, “failing to do so leads to unhappiness.” A natural way of existence that is scarce these days, lost in what others could think of you… According to Lena, it is at the core why people refuse to follow their hearts. Obsessions like money thoughts, fear of safety aren’t the major culprits.
“Today's norm is about feeling good. When you feel good, you will look good.” — Lena Stübner
It’s that simple, yet society makes us dependent in plenty ways. People are led to believe they should spend money to remain young and healthy—the truth, however, is free, incredibly sustainable.
“Beauty is for the taking once you step out the door,” Lena emphasised, “if you spend a few hours outside a day, practice fasting, cold therapy, nature offers extreme benefits.” An inspiring mindset that sees equal opportunities for all, any time of day. “Being a 47-year-old mother, it adds to people's belief,” Lena said, “I had a friend visiting, who then became a singer at age 50.”
“This is where Lena’s story comes in, a dream against all odds.”
Choose environment wisely for it can wire ones personality. If it’s all about money, fame or security, it will shape or repel you in time. This is where Lena’s story comes in, a dream against all odds.
“Face your fears and do the impossible.” — Lena Stübner
HunchMaker interviews 🎙 Lena Stübner.
What made you start a new life?
One day I got invited to join a friend, surfing. I had never considered the sport, yet as I hit the water a new world opens up to me. It was never the same again.
I don’t look into the future, I just follow my heart. At that point, it kept reminding me of the experience—feeding an inevitable escape from where I was working at the time.
Where were you working at the time?
Back in Sweden, ‘blessed and praised’ as a TV presenter. With only 3 channels available, my face was on the forefront of everything. A fake bubble that was soon about to burst. You can’t imagine the competition by women your age, those 10 years older—they’ll do everything to make your life miserable, throw you under the bus. Not to mention the ‘good intentions of bosses and friends’ when you reach the highlight of your career. It has taught me who your real friends are, the importance of self-defence in the face of sexual harassment.
To my daughter, younger women I say; find someone in their 50s who really wants to support you, and master a defence sport to bite off the attackers. Compared to men, women work less in a collective.
What happened next?
I cut all ties, went full speed for a dream against the odds. Everyone, including me couldn’t make sense of it—yet deep down I was the happiest ever. When you have that much to lose, there’s no other option but to succeed. In those years, surf houses barely existed. I wanted to be great at it, make it available to everyone. The adrenalin junkie I am, I could never leave the water. One day this professional surfer comes up to me saying he is impressed by my persistence, in spite of little talent. I didn’t know what to make of it, so had a good laugh, and kept raising my own bar.
How did you move forward?
I went from being a TV star to scrubbing toilets. A friend of mine wanted to be involved—so began our search for the perfect location. With limited budget, we stumbled upon a 140K house that was in dire need of work; most of the brickwork, we did by hand. I guess our arrival came as a surprise; two women, a former TV star, computer geek, single-handedly repairing a house with 1,500KG of self-made cement off the beach in Hossegor. As for the interior, the support given by local surfers was just amazing. It proved once more I had landed in the right environment. Thus, in 2004, "Koala Surfhouse" was born.
What did this journey tell you?
Taking risk is the best thing you can do. The change, surprises that come with it, make life such an exciting journey. Hard decisions, make you accountable, learn so much in the process. A fresh start equals one step, have it lead to the other.
Too much 'goal thinking' tunnels your vision, steals the fun part of getting there.
What makes change that important?
When we stop reinventing ourselves, it drains us. One day you get a kick out of surfing, the other you need something else. The moment I became a mother, big waves were threatening my daughter's future. Thus new habits, like cold therapy, fasting entered the scene.
You should always work on yourself, adapt to present circumstances. Many settle so quickly, jeopardising dreams. I know a lot of people in their 40s feeling miserable because of it.
My time runs in endless, dynamic cycles—thrilled for what is to come, never looking back.
Did Koala, its impact on you, come as a surprise?
Yes, it had a tremendous impact. My daughter grew up in Koala, seeing people at their best, always laughing. Now she can’t stop laughing, spreading her joy with everyone.
There’s billions of people out there—meeting that many at Koala, it makes you feel connected, open up to others.
If there’s one thing on earth I could live without, it’d be social media. For this is real.
“The worst advice I got was to be a sheep and listen to what others tell me to do.” — Lena Stübner
I hope you enjoyed this article as much Lena and I enjoyed bringing it to life.
Lena Stübner is someone that radiates such vibrant energy that can only come from living a dream. Since I caught her story in 2012, it lived on to this day. For me, she is a breathing example of reinvention.
🎬 Immerse yourself in KOALA's 🔥 atmosphere.
✍️ *** Your feelings, thoughts, ideas after reading this article are most welcome ***