I have always loved the water. Some of my earliest memories are of swimming lessons and most of my fondest memories involve the water in some form. Lake, ocean, river, waterskiing, swimming, splashing, paddling. That I never attempted surfing could be attributed to many things: I am a girl, I didn’t see myself as athletic and, possibly most influential, I lived in a landlocked city.
When a career opportunity to live in California coincided with a knee injury that ended my running hobby, I took to walking the beach. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the grace and skill of surfers. I was mesmerized. One morning I was walking along the beach, morose and complaining to myself that I couldn’t run, yearning for a sport I could love as much as running. It occurred to me: why not try surfing?
So I did. And I loved it, instantly. Although it didn’t provide the same sense of achievement that running had, it provided a sense of flow and spirituality I had never encountered. Surfing refined me: from noticing that every wave is different, to patiently waiting for the right one, to accepting whatever the ocean deigns to offer. What a lesson for my life, my career. I was totally hooked and began a love affair with all things surf-related.
As my skill increased, I thought I might like to compete one day. Nothing big or important, just to do it. To stretch myself. But one thing I would never dare to attempt is big wave surfing. I mean BIG, like a four story building or bigger. I know I would love the thrill but I acknowledge I don’t have the physical capability. Nor am I that fearless. But I can dream!
Thanks Kate for the opportunity to dream about something I could only attempt if I were sure I wouldn’t get hurt. I would definitely use one of my nine lives to surf a big wave. And, since we’re dreaming, I’d do it in a bright pink bikini.
This piece is titled Dare2Dream and was painted, pieced and stitched like a crazy woman racing down the face of a wave yelling "Kowabunga!"