The majority of my high school and college years were spent on the beach. I'd like to say I was a great student who deeply cared about my future, but in reality all that was on my mind was surfing and who was hanging out at what beach (read: boys). (If you need proof I'm pretty sure the absences on my high school transcript tell the story pretty well.) I started surfing years before Blue Crush was released and for a time I was one of the few girls in my town who loved to surf as much as our male counterparts. I'd surf every morning of every day and it was very much part of who I was.
I come from a surfing family, my dad having picked up the sport at its inception and it should come as no surprise that I am now married to a man who loves being in the water more than anything else (yes, probably even more than me.) In the early years of our relationship we would travel together, boards in tow, and looking back it was a pretty central part of out relationship. Our first Summer dating we took our first trip to our beloved Costa Rica together and after that it was California, Mexico, Fiji, and more trips back to Costa than I can remember. Once I had the boys my surfing stalled, solely because someone has to be on the beach with the babies, and for my husband his passion only multiplied with each passing year. Now that Liam is surfing independently, and Gray is showing great interest we've all agreed that the time has come for this ol' lady to again get back on her board.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to the idea. After I quit surfing I began swimming which is something I've done off and on throughout the last decade. Surfing is incredible exercise and it is mind blowing what it can do for your body and mind when you do it on a regular basis. Okay, and you can't beat the tan. In theory I'm all over the idea. The reality is that I made a mistake two decades ago and only became "good' at longboarding. For those of you who have no idea what the difference is between a longboard and shortboard basically longboarding is what everyone does on vacation when they say they "surfed." Shortboarding is what the instructor does on a board 1/2 the size, past the white wash when he's done with the lesson.
There certainly are exceptions (and I really thought I'd be one of them) but the bottom line is that to really learn to surf you have to learn to ride a shorter board. Longboards are cumbersome, they weigh a ton, and they are really difficult when you are at a beach break (like in Costa) or when the waves are bigger (like in Costa.) So, to really start surfing again that means I have to be on a shortboard and that means I'm going to suck. Really suck. Really suck for years. This is what has been my hesitation for the last decade. I hate the idea of being pretty good at something and giving that up to be really bad at the same thing. I'm essentially a beginner again and it's going to be a big ego check to find myself rightfully back with all the other beginners.
A few moths ago my husband and I had a come to Jesus moment about my surfing (I'm not being dramatic here, surfing in this house is the equivalent to football in Giselle's) and after much discussion I received a new shortboard for Christmas in addition to a new wetsuit (I hate being cold, even in warm water.) The idea is that if we are going to invest money in MY surfing than how can I back out. We also have a few trips to Costa in the next few months, the first by ourselves, the next with family, which means someone will be on the beach with the boys and I have run out of excuses. We are always telling the kids that it's okay to be bad at something while you are learning something new and I am about to be the living, breathing example of that.
To get ready I went swimming at my gym today for the first time in years and I have to say it felt SO GOOD. I forgot how wonderful the silence of the pool can be and how meditative the counting of your strokes is. Swimming got me through my time at the DA's office, and my first pregnancy, and it is a gift to have it back in my routine. Right now my arms are sore in a way that they haven't been for years and I'm feeling really excited for my new/old love of surfing. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks but almost 20 years later I'm about to try. xx
P.S. If you happen to see me in the water no, I'm not drowning, that's just me learning to duck dive... feel free to carry on with what you were doing. ;)
P.P.S. Here are a photos from a few years back of the entire family surfing if you'd like to see.
(Photo via www.natesmithphoto.com)