Learning to Surf

Learning to Surf


I think most people have given surfing a go and left it at that (especially if you’ve tried the beaches of Devon and Cornwall.  What feels like -50 degrees even in a wetsuit is enough to put anyone off)!  But for some reason I was desperate to get back on the surfboard and ride the waves whilst we were in Bali.  It was one of the reasons for going.

Standing at the shore, surfboard in hand, I felt ready, I felt sure…..  And then I felt the crashing force of that tidal wave greet me on my first day.  And so began my metaphor for life training.

Every morning, down to the beach me and my family would go.  It took me 10 minutes to actually get in the water due to the ferocity of the break on the shore, with a lot of time being wiped off and out of the game.

And yet, I got up and on every single time. Why?

I feel it came from a huge amount of respect for the ocean, the discipline, and for myself.  Because when I did catch that wave, it was like nothing I’ve experienced.  That moment of moving with the wave, moving with nature, standing strong, actually standing (albeit for a very brief moment), the adrenaline rush.  It’s just awe-inspiring. By learning something new, I was learning something else about myself.  By moving in a way I don’t normally move, I was understanding my capabilities from another dimension, perspective, understanding.  It allowed me to grow and get bigger.

There aren’t many situations you allow an external entity to physically take you out, but it made me humble.  It made me realise just how small I am in comparison to Mother Nature and the world.  Irrelevant.  And that feels pretty epic because we usually come to “things” with so much stuff.  So much I am, I need, I want……….  When you’re irrelevant you are nothing and therefore you have nothing.  And when you achieve that, there is no expectation, judgement and disappointment.  You never win when it comes to a game between you and something as great and powerful as marvellous Mother Nature, but the experience she offers of growth far outweighs the construct of win v’s loose.  And do you ever really gain anything from winning?

The surfing of the mighty ocean and my travels made me realise how my decisions weren’t serving me or the life I wanted to live.  So I decided to allow joy to dictate my decisions going forward.  If it doesn’t bring me joy, I won’t do it.  Think I’d choose joy over winning any day of the week.

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