Surfing has taught me so much about life.
1. Perseverance – 90% of surfing is paddling. Some days the waves are relentless and if you want to make it to the outside to catch waves, you have to keep paddling, you’ve got to kick, you’ve got to duck dive deep, and keep going.
2. Patience – Once you make it to the outside you have to wait. You have to scan the horizon for opportunities. You have to get yourself in position. You have to be ready for anything that comes your way and you have to chase down the wave you want.
3. You can’t win them all – Accepting defeat is hard. But there are times when things just don’t go your way. But it’s ok, because there will be more days to surf and more opportunities. Sometimes the waves don’t come to you, sometimes you’re not on your game or the crowd isn’t friendly. This has taught me to surf different spots and change up my approach and surroundings. Surf a different spot. Try again tomorrow.
4. Community – The surf community is amazing. The love for surfing and the shared mental/physical challenge of surfing bonds us. There are people I know just from surfing. I legit have known people for over 20 years that I’ve only seen in the ocean, never on dry land. There are other surfers who I always run into in the parking lot just after they’ve surfed. We always talk, we always joke around, we hug, we have love for each other. These people are special and have made me realize that community and belonging is powerful.
5. Conquering Fear – Life is scary. But you know what’s scarier? A 10-foot wave coming towards you in the open ocean. It’s just you and that moment. That wall of water and your years of knowledge and skills that you must trust and rely on. Just like paddling out, you’ve got to dig deep, paddle hard, and take the leap. You’ve got to tell yourself “I’m going to make it” and you’ve got to push yourself over the ledge. When you make that drop and conquer your fear, nothing else is scary. Anything is possible.