So usually, I try to stick with surf-crafty things on here, but hey, it’s my blog, so I do what I want.
So, lately, I’ve decided to take up surf lessons again. I feel I’ve hit a plateau (going on about 5 years now, sheesh), and I wanted to try and improve.
The difference this time is, it’s just for me. No particular goals. No contests, no sponsorships, no accumulating gnar gnar photos of me ripping. After all, I’ve reached middle age, and my need for others’ approval has greatly declined.
If there is a goal, I’d just like more of that momentary feeling of glide on a wave, more often, with a better understanding of how to get there again and again. One day, I won’t be able to surf anymore, so I want to have as many memories built up in my head to replay over and over, good and bad.
My new coach is an interesting guy to say the least . He’s well known in the surfing community, and he has earned his “cred” on massive Hawaiian waves I’d never dare to surf- and lived. If you’ve got the time, read his stories. They’ve definitely given me a new perspective.
In my first lesson this week, the waves were near flat, so he talked to me about mindfulness. This applies to anything you wish to learn, not just surfing. I tend to joke around and laugh a lot, because things are just NEVER as critical as people create them to be. However, I should resolve myself to focus more on learning than being silly and goofy when trying to improve my surfing skills.
With the improvement in surfing, the fun naturally follows. He told me an example of a concert pianist at Carnegie Hall performing solemnly, intently, to his audience, yet to him, he is experiencing he height of enjoyment. He becomes fully immersed in his passion.
No, I’m not aiming for Carnegie Hall level mastery of surfing. Perhaps more of a regular late night soul jam session in the garage on the weekends, but I’m not quitting my day job.
In the second half of my lesson, he actually pushed me into waves so I could learn how to angle into a wave better- no paddling- just a focus on ONE cross step. It was a humbling experience to be pushed in, but did it ever work. When I popped up, I was able to crosstep easier than I had in my many attempts over the years. Wave after wave. Focused on the task. I’m beginning to see what he’s talking about. I’m already stoked for my next lesson.
Walking up the beach, some random guy on the beach walked up to me and said, “You surfed really good.”
Oh. Sorry, I didn’t even realize there was anyone there….