I always thought surfing was cool. It’s all about the ocean, and that definitely speaks to my soul. It is about braving the waves, spending time at the beach, getting salty hair and sandy toes. I love, at least in parts, the philosophy of surfing, the lay back attitude, the chilled out spirit. I spent a whole year in Australia, THE country for surfing, and yet I didn’t get the chance of trying. I spent a lot of time in California and still nothing.
But when I made it to Mexico, the water was so blue, so warm, so delicious. I was told it was the best place for learning since the waves were smaller and still you could surf on them. My new best friend was up for it and one day, we got down to the beach and just rented two boards.
I think you could right away guess what our level of success was going to be by watching me helping my friend carry her board to the water because it was too heavy for her. That first surfing for me was basically an hour of getting beaten down by the ocean. Hanging on to my board for dear life, and just a general unwillingness to give up. A lot of surfer dudes type were coming up to me and asking “you all right ? I surf, you want me to give you some pointers ?”. And I would just generally reject everybody saying “I’m fine, I’m fiiiine”. And I would get back on that board and wait for the next wave and paddle paddle paddle, and fall down, and underwater, and get hit by the board in the ribs or the legs, and spit salty water, and pant, and moan. And still, I would get back up on the board and paddle away. After an hour I managed to KIND OF get up on the board for some seconds, and I’m pretty sure that counts.
Exhausted, my friend and I gave back the boards, sat up on those swings at the beach bar and started ordering a steady flow of Coronas. Victory tasted de-li-cious.
The next day people were asking me with a shocked expression “what HAPPENED to you ?!”. I had bruises and cuts over 70% of my body. I didn’t care. That’s battle scares. Mexico was only the beginning of what I imagine will be a long and brilliant life of surfing.