YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT TO HANG TEN!
As I look back at summer and all of the AMAZING memories made, a friend made it possible for me to make a memory that I shouldn’t want to remember but will NEVER forget. She rented a surf board….for the week!
I grew up with a view of the beach and my days were filled with the sounds, sport and thunder of the ocean. Back then grabbing a surf board, while at times logistically difficult, was always easy for me. No fear. Lots of strength. No sunscreen. No worries. Fast forward 30 years or so. This summer I found myself once again enjoying the sounds of the beach, staring at a surfboard and wanting on so many levels to experience the sport of surfing once again.
This time around, however, it looked VERY different. Lots of Fear. Strength that is dependent on the day. TONS of sunscreen. (sunscreen by the way does not bode well against wax on a board) Worries by the dozen….mostly for my safety.
So I looked left and right. The audience was minimal and the mellow Atlantic waves were perfect for “learning”. So, tethered to a board, I set out to give it a go. I thought to myself, “this could get really ugly, you need to just breathe, be calm, flow with the waves…really…it’s just like body surfing.” Taking a deep breath, I begin to chant…ok GO…ok this is the one…ok just DO IT!”
All of a sudden, the freedom and excitement I felt darting across the wave made my age a thing of the past - this was a liberating and powerful experience and I was ALL IN! “Ok”, I said, “get up!” With one bound I came out of a full chaturanga, took a staggered stance and landed on top of the board. I was so excited…it’s hard to explain but not as hard as what happened next. It was an eyes wide SHUT, side slip-board flying WIPE OUT! I was up for all of 2 seconds and down I went. After a full body check on my bikini, I realized while the bikini was somewhat presentable, the rash on my butt had something to be desired. Ignoring the pain, I confidently brought the board to my side, stood up and while I should’ve headed to the shore for a beverage of sorts, I headed out to face the waves again.
I realized then that the experience wasn’t in the mistake, that the wipe out was really the humor in the effort. I was so thrilled by my ability to laugh at myself and connect with courage and physical strength that enabled me to try the unfamiliar. I thought to myself, ” Ok, that was pretty good. This is so challenging and you can do it.” I realized just then that these days my greatest joys are in the simple things. Who cares if I don’t look like that perfect surfer girl any more? It was a moment when I felt stronger than ever, and that for me was perfect.