At Mood of Living, we admire those who have the courage to pursue their passion and make a life doing what they love. Stephanie attributes her ongoing success to her curiosity and strong will, her teammates, and her competitive spirit. After being crowned Rolex Yachtswoman of the year, and awarded a sponsorship from sailing giant Helly Hansen, Stephanie is more motivated than ever and happily chasing her dream of becoming the best sailor she can be.
Mood of Living Q&A
Mood of Living Hometown:
Stephanie Roble: East Troy, WI
Mol: Current location:
SR: My time is equally split between a sailboat, a plane and my house in Miami
SR: Professional Sailor
MoL: Before your current occupation you were:
SR: A student at Old Dominion University, majoring in finance.
MoL: In 10 years you aspire to be:
SR: This is the million-dollar question in my life right now! In 10 years I hope that I have taken my sailing to a new level in the aspect that feels right at the time. I am so happy with what I am doing right now that I can’t see myself doing anything else, so I am going to see how this plays out and where it takes me. My big focus right now is on developing my career and my women’s match racing team, Epic Racing. I am always keen for new opportunities, so I am excited to see what the future brings!
Epic Racing: Stephanie Roble, Janel Zarkowsky, Maggie Shea, Laura Dallman-Weiss
MoL: What does it mean to you to be a Yachtswoman of the Year?
SR: It is truly an honor to receive this award because it reflects hard work and success, not only in the last year but years leading up to it as well. I feel extremely lucky to have been a member on many of teams that push each teammate to be at the top of their game. Having teammates like this enables opportunities. Receiving this award is extremely motivating for years to come!
MoL: Where did you learn your skills?
SR: I learned how to sail on a tiny 830 acre lake in Wisconsin called Lake Beulah. My parents signed me up for sailing lessons as something to pass the time during the summer. I developed great friendships and that kept me coming back for more. As I grew older I discovered that I love competition and working hard. I participated in a ton of junior sailing regattas all over the country and tried to bring my sailing to the highest level possible. I went to Old Dominion University for school where I was on the varsity sailing team and spent about 30 hours on the water a week for practice and competition. After school, I just wanted to keep sailing and not have a “real job”. I put myself out there for any sailing opportunities I could. I was very persistent, talking to pros and asking questions and listening to their advice. I think this was very helpful to me in developing my skills.
Stephanie as a child
MoL: Where do you look for inspiration? How does it affect your process?
SR: I look to people for inspiration. Teammates, competitors and coaches alike all inspire me. I love sailing with people who push and encourage, but also teach. I love competing against the best because it makes me work harder. Coaches and mentors provide me with great advice that helps to keep me pressing everyday on and off the water. I also get a lot of inspiration from successful female sailors like Dawn Riley, Sally Barkow and Katie Pettibone. They have been amazing in providing advice and setting a high standard for women in professional sailing.
MoL: When was the moment you realized you could really do this?
SR: I definitely have the personality of an adventurer and conqueror. I won’t go down without a fight and love to do things that people don’t think I can do. So I’ve always thought “I can do this.” But, everything really set in this year when I won the Rolex award. It set in that I have taken my sailing to a new level, am developing a career and can make it happen if I keep pushing hard!
MoL: Favorite hobby:
SR: I love to cook when I am home between events. I spend most of my time on the road, so when I come home I enjoy going to the grocery store for fresh produce and experimenting with new recipes. I enjoy knowing how my food is prepared and that what I eat is good for my body. True to self, I love any activity on the water like catching a wave on my surfboard. Being and athlete, you can often find me in the gym, and nothing is more satisfying than a killer workout and some yoga. I recently went to the driving range and played 9 holes and think I am going to take up golfing as a new hobby.
MoL: What music inspires you?
SR: I LOVE music! I think it is extremely powerful. I feel like I have a playlist for every mood and need it in my life as much as I can everyday. Lately, I have been into techno music and really obsessed with this group Odesza. They have great beats and not too intense but not too mellow.
MoL: What is your favorite book?
SR: I really enjoyed Lone Survivor. It gave me a whole new perspective on life and taught me the true meaning of what tough actually means. When I am getting tired in the gym or on the racecourse, I think about how the character Marcus was pushed to his ultimate limits to survive. I think the military is fascinating and I had no idea about the training they go through and missions they accomplish.
MoL: Where is your dream travel destination?
SR: I do love to travel and am lucky to say that, given how much time I have been spending on a plane recently. I love exploring new places and experiencing the local vibe, wherever I go. My favorite sailing venue is Lake Garda, Italy. In the future I want to go hike Matchu Picchu with a group of friends and explore Asia!
MoL: Do you spend much time creating a beautiful home?
SR: The last two years I have been moving around a lot and am so happy I found a place in Miami with my boyfriend Taylor that I love coming home to. It’s a great house in a great location and I have kept the style simplistic with Ikea furniture primarily. I believe in living simply, having too many things makes me feel settled down, which I am not ready for at this age. I will say, our home has become quite the sailor’s palace, our sailor friends always occupy our second bedroom, and our walls are decorated with sailing trophies and memorabilia. We love to have people over when we are home to relax, grill, share stories and listen to music.
MoL: What place do you go to for a peace of mind?
SR: I don’t have a specific place, but I love to go on a run, especially if I can go on a trail, or have a solid yoga session. I do also love to get a pedicure. I feel most at ease when I am listening to music on the plane and just reflecting on life.
MoL: Who is an Influential figure in your life and how did they inspire you?
SR: My parents have always been extremely influential. They are the best because they have always been there to support me and bail me out when I need help. I look to them for advice every day and they have each influenced me in different ways. Dad is an extremely hard worker no matter the task at hand and has shown me time and time again that hard work pays off. Mom is a sweetheart and helps me keep levelheaded.
MoL: If you could have a conversation with any person, who would it be and why?
SR: I would love to go back in time and meet Vince Lombardi (former American football player and coach for the Green bay Packers.) I think he is one of the most inspirational coaches and human beings of all time. He had a great outlook on teamwork and how to always be at the top of your game. I would love to be coached by him and hear his advice.
MoL: Favorite quote:
SR: “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi
MoL: What is something you know now that you wish you knew before?
SR: Sunscreen and water are so important!! When I was little, I didn’t understand what the sun does to your skin and how water is essential to your body. Now I can’t get enough sunscreen on my face and recently have been wearing a “buff” to cover my face whenever I can on the water. I always try to drink a lot of water. I feel most energetic and alive when I am well hydrated.
MoL: Words of wisdom:
SR: “Long days add up laughter & tears, winning & losing. It is for these experiences that we get out of bed each morning.”
MoL: What advice can you give to anyone interested in pursuing a career as a professional athlete?
SR: People notice and respect hard work, enthusiasm and curiosity. I believe those three things are a recipe for success, especially on a team. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to fail! Each day should have a micro goal with a macro goal in mind.
Photos courtesy of Stephanie Roble, Christian Chardon, WMI Series, US Sailing, and Team Epic Racing