It was choppy.
I got tossed around a lot.
But it was great fun anyways.
Every time I go surfing, I feel like I learn tons of life lessons. I wish I could bring a notebook out with me on my board!
Let’s go over five of them… just in case you’re not going out today ;)
1. You gotta paddle through the choppy waters to catch the first wave
Like I said, yesterday was CHOP. EEEEEEEE.
The wind was up (or so Srini said; I’m no expert at all when it comes to good conditions), which made the water rougher than it would be if we had ideal conditions.
So goes life, right?
When was the last time any of us had perfect conditions for getting anything accomplished?
Hey, I love waking up at 7:30 am naturally, going outside to a blissful 72 degree day, and running for 5 miles because nothing on me hurts, but you know how often that happens?
Pretty much never.
I’m sore from yesterday’s workout. I’m tired because I stayed up late last night. It’s windy outside. I have to go train afterwards. I have a post I need to get done…
You gotta get through the choppy waters if you want to catch any waves. You’re not going to catch them on the shore.
When conditions look less than perfect, how do you handle the situation? Do you keep putting it off, waiting until the perfect time to start? That day may never come, my friends.
It’s hard. It might take you longer today. It might fight against you.
Paddle out, even though it might suck. When you get out there, it’s all worth it.
2. You don’t need to catch every set
I like to go out and wait a full set before I try to catch anything.
I watch the water.
How big are the waves? Where are people catching them? Where are they missing them?
I take the time to sit and relax. I find that I catch more waves when I do so.
You know what else happens?
I enjoy the gentle rocking of the water. I soak in the sun on my face. I talk to people around me and find out more about them, or I sit in silence, listening to the repetitive but ever-changing crashing of the waves on the shore.
I take life in when I sit out there. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.
Siri, we love you, but you stress us the eff out.
You don’t need to know or be a part of what’s happening at all times. The world won’t crumble unless you tweet out what you’re doing. Your friends won’t forget about you if you don’t like every picture they take of their drunken escapades. And you will not lose your job if you take longer than 5 minutes to answer an email (in the case of jobs worth keeping in my opinion).
Take the time to listen to the water. “Smell the roses,” if you will.
Let some life pass you by so that you can appreciate the waves you choose to catch.
3. You’ll eat it. Relax.
I ate it A LOT on Sunday. I got to a point where I had to paddle in a little and go for the whitewater instead of the actual wave because that’s where my skillset allowed me to stand up in Sunday’s conditions.
I didn’t let it discourage me, because I learned a lesson every time I fell.
When I went to Costa Rica last year, one of the main pieces of advice that stuck with me was this:
“When you eat it, ’cause you will, keep your body relaxed. The ocean will spit you back up to the surface unless you fight it.”
There is a natural order to things.
When we fail, we can do one of two things: we can fight, resist or tantrum, or we can relax into it and look for the lesson we can learn from it.
Guess which one will increase the chances that you’ll come out stronger? The ladder, that’s right. You’re so smart. ;)
We will fail, but it’s those failures that teach us how to succeed the next time around.
Relax into it and dare to look for the lesson. Life will spit you back out on top and you’ll be stronger with the knowledge that whatever you just did, you shouldn’t do again the same way!
4. Ride your softie in a world of shortboards
So I rented a Costco board from this awesome company that dropped off and picked up where I parked (best service ever). It was a bright blue 8-foot softie that just screamed “I don’t do this regularly!”
The guys with shortboards were staring. They were smirking. Some looked away in embarrassment…
But I was smiling.
There will always be those out there who want to take away your joy.
You know what I say…
Have fun! Do what you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else!
No, I’m no pro when it comes to surfing, but it’s one of my favorite things and hell, I caught a few waves out there.
In a world that wants to squander your happiness, stand your ground. Don’t let them take you down. That’s the ocean’s job.
5. Watch the current: you could end up far away from what you were aiming for
The first time Srini and I paddled out, we ended up about 3 lifeguard towers north of where we were aiming for after about 30 minutes in the water.
Do you feel like you’ve been sucked into something that’s not what you were aiming for in the first place?
It’s pretty common. You’re not alone.
If you find yourself drifting away from your original intentions, you could do a couple things.
You could get out and walk back down the shore to where you originally wanted to paddle out. Recognizing you’re not where you want to be is a big step, so I don’t write this lightly. Take time to examine the pros and cons of where you’ve ended up. If you’re not feeling fulfilled with where the current has taken you, get back to your original sweet spot, even though you might have to paddle against the current.
Or, if you’re enjoying your new path (you could’ve drifted into a sweet surf spot!), don’t fight it! Just because you wanted to do one thing before doesn’t mean you are obligated to fulfill that old dream. In fact, I found fitness by chance: I originally started training as a day job to support my miserable acting career!
It’s when you can be fully honest with yourself and what makes you happy that you can take control of your life’s happiness. I realized that the current took me where I was supposed to be (in life, not on Sunday- I had to walk back about a half mile!).
Where’s it taking you?