Surf's (Finally) Up


See that smile? That is what I look like when I'm accomplishing a lifelong daydream. Ever since I can remember I've had an obsession with the ocean, Southern California, Hawaii, surfing and surf culture. Picture 8-year-old me sneaking over to the thermostat to turn the heat up to 80 degrees so that I could run around in my bathing suit while it was snowing outside. The best part is: I can't even swim. Really.

But I'm working on it, in my own backwards way. I have a "shoot first, aim later" approach to most things in life and surfing is now one of them. My thought is that if I get comfortable "surfing" (balance, strength, paddling, form) in shallow water, I'll be more motivated to learn how to swim so I can get better at surfing. My dad is not a fan of this idea on account of him thinking that I should learn the basics, like how not to drown, before taking on the Pacific Ocean, but this is just how I do things. It hasn't failed me yet and, fingers crossed, it never will.

I've had two surf lessons now, including the one in these pictures which are from my first lesson about a month ago. During my first lesson I stood up on my board for about .04 seconds and Ryan got it on camera, as you can see below. And during my second lesson, I actually caught my first wave! It was an incredible feeling... just taking everything in around me for a few seconds while the ocean did the work. I finally got the pictures developed today (we took a disposable waterproof camera out to the ocean) and I couldn't wait to get them up.

I can't even tell you how much I'm looking forward to writing about this whole experience going forward: about learning to surf, learning to swim, learning how to cope with deltoid and tricep soreness from having absolutely no upper body strength, and all the revelations that come from fighting your fears, chasing your dreams, and spending time in the ocean.

If you've ever wanted to learn how to surf as badly as I do, hopefully these posts will help convince you to try. I mean, if a 27-year-old who can't swim can start learning, so can you. Dude.