Some times when you get into the sea everything is just slightly out of phase. You seem to be duck-diving 20 times to get out back as everybody else glides elegantly past through unseen calm channels. Then you find yourself too close to shore so the bigger sets land on your head filling your sinus cavities with brine and your memories with shame. Or you’re too far out so you paddle like a 1970’s egg whisk and don’t catch anything except maybe a small whiff of humble pie.
It’s like Scotty can’t get the transporter synched with Kirk’s signal and he keeps getting mauled by a Gorn. And we all know how terrible that can be…
Of course the sensible thing to do would be head for shore, find a cocktail bar and order a large crantini. Maybe with some cheesy nachos to take the edge off that post ‘drubbing’ hunger?
But no. You’re a surfer. Made from sterner stuff. You are brave, relentless and strong. More or less what most people would consider to be an idiot.
Finally what reboots and resets this obviously faulty system is a brace of waves pushing you down into the sand, one after another with little time to catch a breath between them. A small moment of underwater flailing and a shot of adrenalin later and you’re ready to go – pumped up and feeling very agile for a man in his late 40’s. Now the Sea Gods are with you, you find your flow and surfing joy is soon yours. Peeling left handers that double up on the inside section and provide you with an excess of what they call ‘stoke’ and instant amnesia of the humiliation that went before.
So the lesson to be gleaned from this tiny tale? Well – just try to remember that good things come to those that wait – even if the waiting period is filled with small amounts of pain, fairly protracted periods of water based discomfort and a slightly throbbing head full of humility.
I did surf today. Eventually. Merry Christmas and goodbye to 2017.