10 Life Lessons I Learned From Surfing for the First Time
So, last epic weekend, I went to Baler to surf and go home the next day to catch some discs (Frisbee Tourney). I have been longing to surf for quite some time now. Actually, it was since Blue Crush 2.
After watching it, I sort of fell in love with the surfing lifestyle. After that, I pinned pictures of surfers, seeming to be breathing in the salty breeze which was in reality, just the air between me and my laptop. I even landed this web content writing job for an online surf store. Yes, I wanted to try it out so bad. So last Saturday, I did and it was divine. A fellow traveler was even wearing her contact lenses while she surfed. Her friends were alarmed when they knew, but nothing bad happened. I suggest you take off eyeglasses or contact lenses when you go surfing just to be sure. :)
I realized surfing is pretty much like life. Why, you ask. Here's why.
To get a grip, waxing is sort of necessary.If you have a new board or if your board is slippery and all, you need to wax it to unleash your Spiderman potentials in the water. Learned it when I always fell off during my first two rides. My instructor waxes the board after that and viola, I can stay on top after that. Like in real life, we kind of need some polishing up to do so we don't mess things up and give away opportunities that come our way.
It's okay to test the waters first.Then next two rides that followed the slip offs were me on the surfboard, on top, crouching, kneeling until the board was washed away to the shore. Haha! I must look stupid from afar, but hey, I wanted to see how it is to ride the board safely first before I do the risking.
I have to stand up, my instructor said and yeah, I pushed myself up the fifth time and yay!! I can finally stand on the board. Well, for a few seconds though. Too much crouching, aside from it making me look like a chicken on the board, would cause you great rides. Take risks if you want to experience some highlights in your life.
But you have to stand up after a while.
Don't go overboard. You'll miss out a great wave.Okay, so there were like two incidents when waves just rolled out on me. First, I saw the tip of my board slice the surface of the water and the rest would follow the submersion. I guess I put too much weight on the front. My instructor said that's one of the causes why a board breaks. Yikes! (Luckily, my foam board was a-okay still.) So I figured having an excess head on would only break us. We get burned when we put too much effort that isn't even necessary. It would force us to give up and save ourselves instead of just enjoying things lightly and riding away.
Don't go "underboard" either. The great wave will miss you.When falling forward happened, I was too focused of not putting all my weight in front that I ended up standing on the lower portion of the board, my weight pushing down the bottom of the board that I was tossed back onto the water.I figured (again) that too much consciousness or lagging behind will get you nowhere either.
(This is the teasing part of trying out something new. You think you got it, but then you actually don't. YET.)
Patience is... (Gawd, I can't say this.) a virtue.As an impatient person, it is pure torture for me having to wait for anything. Minutes kill me, split seconds of silence when doing a decision irritates me. And this explains my rash decisions and impulsive purchases sometimes. Waiting for some waves tired me up. I would look back past my board only to find calm waters and that tired me so I just dropped my head on the board and patiently waited. After all, you can't ride if there's no wave.
And so is humility.Surfing is one of those things that looks easy when you're watching, but actually challenging when you're the one doing it. Humility isn't a problem and it's one of the virtues that I find easy, but I just want to point it out. For first time surfers, a little push from someone will provide an easy start for your ride. You can skip the paddle part first when you're starting out. Heading straight on some 6-feet waves might just ruin your impression of surfing. Start small, start humble. We'll surf some tunnel up someday soon.
Wiping out isn't as bad as you have imagined.I have always been so careful with a lot of things, not wanting to fail, not wanting to get hurt. But on the day that I tried surfing, I wasn't afraid of falling of, of the saltwater going inside my nose or ears (though I know it'll hurt), of the board falling down on my head, of my butt hitting the sand.. of breaking my neck? Haha, kidding. It kind of hurts a little though, when you fall on your butt. But it's all worth the thrill and the surfing high.
Boo. I failed on this. When your board slowly reaches the shore, you can just jump off the board onto the sand -- cool and smooth, but I blame myself on why I have to jump of the board and fall on my knees. Booyah. I should definitely do this the next time I surf. Ironic since I am the muse of poise when it comes to catching a disc (ultimate frisbee) or carrying 8 boxes of integrated circuits at work with my face not giving away that my arms actually hurt (I forgot to get some cart.)
But you can always choose to get off the board gracefully.
There's always the bus when you want to go catch some waves again.All my frustrations and desires brought about my first time surfing could always be mended. I had that choice of curing it. My home is an archipelago of 7,107 islands and I can just hit up some surf spots if I have the time. So, I swear that I would be living the surf lifestyle and not stop chasing some swells.