Insights from the black sea (V.6)
Today I'm missing the feeling of paddling out more than ever. The sea air filling my senses, the engagement of my entire body with each stroke, the unknown of how long before "my wave" arrives, and most of all...….leaving all my problems/worries at the shore.
I've been watching a lot of movies and documentaries around the lifestyle of surfing. The therapeutic benefits are hard to compare, if you can get over the fear of the ocean itself and keep yourself vulnerable. It presents new challenges and sets you at ease simultaneously. If that makes sense.
The common denominator I found in most of the storylines was rehabilitation. Whether as a veteran with PTSD, an individual fighting addiction of various sorts, or just burning the candle at both ends. You find a new focus when it's just you, the board, and the water. Just a human buoy as no one rolling wake/wave is the same, it allows for a new experience every time.
A big draw for me is the fact that you will inevitable fall at some point with each wave. This is one of the few sports that keeps you humble. Mother nature is always in control. The motto of "only focus on things in life you can control" plays out every time you attempt to ride an uncontrollable force of water. I also believe this is the draw of retention.
We all too often want to rush to perfection (at least I know I do), and lose sight of the enjoyment that comes with learning. My friend Dan Breeden said it best, "slow down your progress and focus on the building blocks. Most raw beginners define success by how quickly they stand up on the first day. But you can learn a lot by spending a day on your belly and feeling how the board reacts as the wave changes." This is so very true, and a practice I will carry with me in and outside of surfing.