Made it to the cost for a surf/SUP session with an old friend. Amazing time. Started off in a fog, literally and figuratively as we missed an exit, then a ferry and ended up looping to get where we should’ve been originally! Laughing in our un-caffeinated morning hysterics we both appreciated the time together, two guys heading out with a ‘plan’. What could go wrong?
Surfing in WA is a pretty epic endeavor. Cold water, cold air, thick wetsuits, hard wax, long drives, fickle waves and it’s just cold! If you have a decent paying job then you need to drive to get to surf because jobs on the coast aren’t ‘decent’ paying. WA surfers are a diehard group. This weekend was no exception. Swell forecast was looking good. Had to make the trip.
While my buddy did most of the talking, the conversation seemed to center around…..me. Basically I’ve spent the better part of two years trying to figure out what I ‘want’. it’s been a curve ball of a few years and I’m trying NOT to do the atypical mid-life crisis crap. “Den, I don’t believe I’ve EVER know what I ‘want’.”
We arrived late afternoon to find 6-8’ semi-closeout sets, fast offshore winds and….SUN!! Suiting up my friend asked me “If you can have what you want right now, would you want it a little bigger or a little smaller?” “Well….this is a tad over my skill level, I’d probably get frustrated quick, so a little smaller would help with my learning curve.” He grinned and said “The guy I was talking to said it was bigger this morning and has been going down. So….you’re getting what you ‘want’. If we would have caught the first ferry, we would have been here in bigger stuff than you would have wanted.”
I squeezed into my new wettie, grabbed Koru and ran down the beach. Hadn’t been in the water since Kauai and I’d been missing Mother Ocean. The sets lined up nicely and, as always, timing is key in paddling out. You want to paddle out between sets. Makes it a little easier. Today the strong offshore helped push us out to the lineup. Then it pushed us well past the lineup. Really need to pay attention when you’re in the ocean! It was just great to feel water underneath, the gentle rise and fall of the swell underneath.
As many others have written before surfing and Life really do go hand in hand. Unless you surf I don’t believe a person can’t really understand that metaphor. You paddle out, get thrown around like you’re in a Maytag Washer on ‘spin cycle’ and paddle through the struggles. Sometimes you get in over your head or get really dirty, but it all washes off once you start to paddle back out. Why paddle back out over and over? Because that ride is just…..so amazing. Like those special moments in Life all the struggles just wash away.
The sets came in, like corduroy lines on the ocean. I waited patiently trying to remember old lessons – “paddle, pop, look”. I caught and rode a few, but started to get frustrated. Then I heard “Really? Quit being so damn hard on yourself!” I paddled back out with a smile on my face since I realized I was telling myself to ‘settle down’ and enjoy. This sport of surfing has been one of the most frustrating fun activities this Midwestern boy has ever done.
Setting myself up I waited for sets, taking the 3rd or 4th wave. Caught good rides, making moves on the actual face of the wave, not just riding the whitewater this time. “(Paddlepaddlepaddle) Don’t be afraid of the drops, don’t look at the nose, look where you WANT to go!”
I learned many lessons that weekend with several actually ‘re-learned’ –
- My self-worth and ‘want’ from Life is still coming into its own
- I have SO much to offer the ‘right’ person
- Part of my personality is a “Healer” and I need, and deserve, someone that is already ‘healed’ and happy with who THEY are and THEIR place in Life. Just as I am in mine. Being the “Healer/Pleaser” isn’t where I should gain my ‘worth’.
- I need to figure out what I ‘want’ AND to be careful for what I wish for
- Lastly – Stop being so damn hard on myself and enjoy the struggle because the rides are SO worth it!