Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How to change your life...and maybe the world!

I honestly believe that one always feel better after some time in the ocean. My philosophy has always been that no matter how bad the waves were, you WILL feel better after the surf than before you went in. 

Yesterday I went for an early morning surf. Because it was quite chilly outside I got into my wetsuit in the comfort of my living room, made myself a flask of coffee for that "after-surf-warmth-requirement" and headed down to the beach.  When I got to the beach I looked at the conditions. The temperature outside was not what I call pleasant and the waves were on the small side. Despite my already proven philosophy I convinced myself that the waves were too small and the water too cold. I turned around and went home. I drank a cup of coffee from the flask when I got home not to waste it while bitching about the fact that I went through the effort of putting on a wetsuit and having to take it off for no reason. I was not feeling better at all and slightly disappointed about my cowardly move to turnaround from a potential nice surf session.

This morning I went to the beach again.  This time I did not get dressed, nor did I make that coffee. I got to the beach under the same weather conditions as yesterday, cold water and small waves.  The difference today though was my determination to get into the water to "feel better". Yesterday that was lacking a bit. Sitting in a car next to me was another surfer also checking out the waves.  I could see from his facial expressions that he was not planning on going out today either. I got out, started chatting to him and suggested that he should do it just to feel better afterwards. "Three waves" I said, "that's all I want....and some time in the water and I will feel it was worth the pain."

I walked down to the water with my longboard. There was only one SUP out and I could feel that the water was indeed freezing.  I paddled out and quickly got my three waves. I looked around and saw my fellow surfer friend walking up to the water with his board, dressed from head to toe in neoprene and with an uncomfortable smile on his face.  We chatted more in the water convincing ourselves that "f*ck it's cold, but that we did the right thing". We both surfed for another 30 minutes or so. Eventually after 10 or more reasonable slow longboard waves we decided to get out. I was about to lose my fingers due to frost-bite and I also don't want gangrene at this stage of my life. He followed suit. 

Back in the parking lot another group of SUP-boarders were contemplating whether they should go out or not.  The news of the ice-cold water was out and they seemed very reluctant to face the discomfort of brain-freeze and possible hypothermia. Myself however and my new surf buddy felt stoked and pleased with ourselves and glad that we went in.  I had that "good-again" feeling I was looking for before I went in. What made me even feel better is that I made a new friend who left me saying, "I'm so glad you convinced me to go in". He clearly was also stoked after his session.

Sometimes we can change ourselves or even the world, all we need is that little encouragement, either from ourselves or from someone else. I am not going to beat myself up over yesterday's missed-out surf session, but I will remind myself about today's experience when I am sitting on a fence again in less than perfect conditions.

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