September 12, 2013
First day is over and done…and I survived! This seems funny to say now, since it wasn’t nearly as terrifying as I had made it up to be in my mind.
We all headed out to the beach around 8AM. First thing, I head to the water to check it out for how cold it feels. After hearing how chilling the Pacific can be, I am thrilled to find the temperature is perfectly comfortable.
Back on shore, Alain, my surfing coach, starts teaching me how to get up on the board and basic safety. He makes everything simple, easy, and fun sounding. I’m still not sure.
With my ankle strapped to the board, we head out over the incoming waves. Alan is right with me, coaching me every step. I lay down on the board, he guides me over a few more strong waves where we watch for the best one to surf. My hands are gripping the board tight.
The ‘best’ wave comes, he turns me around on the board, coaches me to paddle hard, gives a 3-2-1 count down, then says “UP!”. Off I go, I’m up on the board, and stand strong for a few seconds before falling off. I am thrilled and stunned!
Each time got easier and eventually I stayed up for as long as possible. Granted that was only 15 seconds since we are close to shore, and still there’s a smile on my face.
The sense of balance I find with the ocean moving beneath me feels incredible. No wonder people love this so much. My personal strength works with the power of the ocean to create a beautiful dance. Surfing asks you to work with nature; not fighting against it. It is amazing and humbling.
The film crew traveling with us mounted a camera to the front end of my board where my every expression is captured. Watching the footage later at the house, I am laughing at how easy it is to see every feeling on my face. There are also plenty of shots of me clearing snot out of my nose and spitting. So pretty! Needless to say, I had my fair share of ocean water in eyes, nose, and mouth. It’s really not so bad, just got to clear it out and move on.
As well as the first day went, I am guessing that each day will be a little harder, push my edge a bit more, and give me more opportunities to learn. All the same, I am glad to have my initial anxiety gone and understand what this adventure is asking of me.
Eventually I will find where my limit is and for now, I am just relaxing in the day knowing the first hurdle has been cleared!