“When I say get up,” he said, “GET UP.”
First wave out, I did. Rode it all the way to shore.
Paddled back out. Caught the second. And the third, and on that long ride in, I thought, “Shit. The longer I stay on this board, the more I’m going to have to paddle.”
Two hours later, I was wrecked. Barely able to paddle through the increasingly large waves (one, breaking, loomed six-felt-like-ten-feet above me before crashing), I was seasick, and had a variety of brand new muscles screaming. I called it quits.
When the seasickness stopped an hour later, my mind started replaying each wave - and I started to realize it’d made an impression. Friends asked if I’d loved it.
“I don’t know,” I said. “I’ll see in the morning.”
Here, twenty-four hours later, I’m certain I’ll go out again. Not for the clean rides in, or the workout or the scenery or the feeling of small.
I’ll go out again because of one small moment, very near the end, when I paddled out against the current. I was too tired to fight the board and the water and the balance all at once - so I didn’t.
I just relaxed, let my weight sink into the board, just paddled. And in that moment, I wasn’t a guy, floundering on a board out in the ocean.
The board and I had become one creature. We moved together, easily across the water.
Photo credit: “radical wave” on flickr. I had no pictures. I was too busy surfing. :)