Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 5: Surfing

 Saturday dawned and we found Salty Dog Surf Shop,  one of the only surf shops that was open this off season.  I picked up a rental surfboard and wetsuit and headed across the street to the beach.  I admit while I was excited to try this, I was also a bit skeered.  Looking up and down the beach, no one was in the frigid water.  The waves were choppy and the wind was blowing pretty good.  I thought back to my days of windsurfing and thought about how conditions would be perfect for that wind powered sport. 

Back to the task, I asked the lone lifeguard if it was safe to go out, and he said yes.  I thought about sharks and wondered if I would make it out before I got eaten alive.  I laid on the surfboard and started paddling.  I had only attempted surfing once before in my life and don't really count that time because I had no idea what I was doing.  This time was not much different, other than being confident that I was capable of doing this.

My arms were burning as I reached the break and seemingly huge (2-3 ft) waves crashed in front of me.  I turned and looked back at the shore and it was a long ways away.  A swell came towards me, I paddled into it, got some momentum, stood up, fell over and got thrown around under water.  It was then that I realized that I was on top  of a sand bar.  I stood up.  I made the decision to attempt surfing the waves after they had broken over the sandbar.  By timing properly and pushing off the sand, I could catch the wave and gain enough momentum to stand.  After a couple of attempts, I was standing and riding what was left of the wave.  It wasn't epic, I wasn't shredding, but I was surfing, and I loved it. 

I reminded myself that I was a beginner.  It has been a while since I was a beginner at any sport, and it was humbling to not be good at something. 

 I stuck with it for 2 hrs.  Until my arms were limp and I was having trouble popping into the standing position on the board.  With my lack of upper arm strength, I decided not to risk drowning and headed in. 

I had surfed and it was good.

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