Girl versus ocean, July 2017
The last few times Austin and I have been to the beach, Austin really wants to rent a boogie board and wetsuit and just go to TOWN.
So that’s what we do. But every time I get in that water, I am thoroughly THROTTLED by the ocean. I get nasal lubes and accidentally ingest enough seawater to house a goldfish in my stomach. I’m Moana before she becomes an expert wayfinder.
(On second thought, maybe I’m the pig. I’m Pua.)
Austin, on the other hand, goes back in. I lose the battle with the ocean, but Austin? He just keeps going back for more, even though he gets pummeled.
I don’t love the ocean the way Austin does. I think it’s BEAUTIFUL, and I think that there is a TON to explore and discover on the ocean floor and would love to try my hand at scuba diving, but I’m not in love with the crashing waves. Austin has a much higher pain tolerance than I do.
So when we were in California last week, I signed up for surfing lessons. I’m a cheapskate, so I try to avoid having to pay for lessons of any type. But these?
SO WORTH IT.
We practiced on the sand: lie down on your surfboard, paddle on the sides, then put your back foot on the pad on back, and your front foot up ahead. We’d practice it constantly to just help our muscles remember it.
Then we moved to the ocean.
The best part is having an instructor out there with you. The guy who helped me would hold onto the board while we paddled out to deeper water to catch the waves. He’d turn me around and push the board as a wave was JUST coming in.
Then it’s up to me: paddle, paddle, paddle – JUMP – stand, bend your knees, and ride it out.
I’ll be honest: I only stood up three different times. And two of those times were when the instructor was literally holding onto the back of the surfboard while the wave was pushing us. Pushing yourself up to stand is the hardest part.
But standing up those few times? It’s a small taste of victory and I get the whole ocean obsession thing – even if I fall a few seconds later.