You walk up to the edge of 56 degree water, hesitant, but continue forward not giving it a second thought. Cold drops of salty blue water begin to enter your wet suit as you feel the sandy bottom underneath your feet. The ripples slowly start to build gradually pushing you more intensely to what begins to feel like impassable barriers. But you resolve to keep pushing, jumping, avoiding, maneuvering your way towards these little waves you can't control. The surf instructor tries to reassure you that this is all part of the plan and slowly but surely you make your way out to the lineup. Quickly he spins you around, getting you ready for whats about to come. “Ok this is it, the wave is coming, are you ready?” he asks. With a bit of nervousness and excitement you reply with a “yes” trying to ready yourself for this wall of water quickly approaching. The wave arrives and he gives you one last push starting a whole series of events totally out of your control. The board starts to move forward. A rush of water starts to come underneath you. The awkward feeling of the unstable board in your hands as it starts to shake and wobble. Its almost to much to handle causing a huge surge of adrenaline as you try and sort through all these new sensations. You try and get up but its all to much and you loose your footing and wipe out. Your heart sinks but you quickly shake it off believing the next time will be when it all comes together. So you fight the gauntlet of white water one more time lining yourself back up for yet another try. The teacher asks you again, “are you ready?” and the process starts all over again. The board starts to move forward, the water starts to rush by, the board takes on a life of its own, and you start to get up when all of a sudden it comes together as you rise to your feet!!!! Time slows down and this huge surge of emotion begins to over take you. Your riding your first wave and this sweet feeling of victory, accomplishment, and a rush of happiness all collide together into a perfect moment! As you ride the wave to shore you try and take it all in! This vague sense of walking on water as you travel along the ocean surface. The feeling of capturing something that only wind from far off places could create. A sense of the magical and impossible as you realize you did it, you just caught your first wave! And without you even realizing it, just as fast as the wave came and gone, a new surfer was born !!!
I had the great pleasure of teaching an amazing girl how to surf this last Sunday and I can't tell you how fun that was for me to be apart of. It totally brought me back to the day I first learned to surf and reminded me of the same excitement I felt. That “Stoked” feeling had filled my soul once again reminding me just how special an experience surfing can be. There is just nothing like it and I encourage all of you to give it a shot if you ever have the chance. It certainly has been an experience that has changed my life for the better in so many ways.......And for this special girl, based on her smile in the picture above, I think it might have changed her just a little bit too......:O)