Deep stroke, nipples, push, kick leg forward, surf. That’s how you do it, guys…in so many words.
I got on a bus for 2+ hours, drove down the shore, and went to Surf Camp this weekend. While it was a physically exhausting experience, I think the saying, “when you fall, get back up again” came from surfing. I lived off that motto about 100 times each day. I’d get slammed wave after wave, sometimes knocking my board out of my hand, sometimes it hitting my jaw and causing me to think it dislocated my jaw until dinner time when I started eating and I realized food makes everything better and I was fine, and sometimes it hitting the back of my head and my thanking the Water Lords that it was only a love tap.
My time away this weekend was definitely a first on many fronts. I’d never stayed in a camp-like environment. I’d never eaten off a barbecue that rats made their home at 3 AM. I’d never slept in a questionably clean bed with no working light in the room. I’d never seen so many girls throwing themselves at all the surf instructors. But even with all of this, I was quite happy with where I was. There was a time on Saturday where I felt like I was the only one unable to stand on the board, the only one unable to get the GoPro to videotape my fails, and the only one unable to get my hair to stay up in a bun. I was so frustrated that I was questioning why I even came and whether it was worth all the money I spent. But I dunno…maybe it was taking sunset pictures of Seven Mile Beach or returning later at night to stargaze, but I was determined the next day to A: put on my moist, sandy wet suit in under 10 minutes and B: stand up on the board. I accomplished both but do not ask me how I did either of them.
This weekend tested my willpower, patience, and queasiness (those bathrooms were not included in the powerpoint slide presentation…). But I was so proud of myself and others for getting up at 6:30 AM to surf. So proud of myself that despite waking up on Sunday with pain stapled to my body, I still managed to carry that board the size and weight of a small shark through small paths and sinking sand. So proud that I walked uphill for 15 minutes just to go to the pub where an 80 year old’s birthday party was being held.
This weekend proved R. Kelly was wrong. My mind was telling me YES but my body, mY BODY WAS TELLIN’ ME NOOO.
As the bus departed from what I had come to think of as a wonderful retreat and beautiful scenery, I was sad that I no longer would be this close to the ocean, that sand, or those rats. While every person felt differently about this weekend, it was just what I wanted and needed. It was motivating. It was inspirational. I can see why these people’s lives are dependent on this. It feels good to wake up early and get in that cold water and fight the merciless ocean. It feels good to burrow your feet in that sand as you stand before the sky, sun, and water. It didn’t even matter that I barely stood up on the board because it felt the greatest to get back up after I fell.
The Legendary Mariana
(P.S. my GoPro just came in the mail so expect mental, XTREME pics and vids in my later adventures/blog posts!)