Posted by: realifemermaid | April 22, 2012

Lessons from the Sea

Not the best surf conditions this weekend.  It was a little choppy, blown over, and the worst (or best) part was this great big table top sandbar right where the swell was breaking.  The waves would get really steep before the sandbar, and anyone who was still on the wave by the time the break reached the sandbar was consistently and inevitably dumped right off and into the shorebreak. 

In its own way, this was some of the best swell for me.  One of the hardest things in surfing is learning how to do a good pop up.  Right now, I would sum my pop ups as 20%  of the time spot on, great timing, great everything…60% of the time everything is where it is supposed to be  (but hey I am on my cool longboard and nothing is going to happen if i take my time, so I will)…and 20% of the time some sort of strange crawl or my left knee stays down instead of popping up correctly.  I’ve been working on making my pop ups consistently great, by working on balance and practicing them on a yoga mat a little every day, and of course practicing them in the surf.  It is helping. 

But today, the ocean decided it would help me along even more. 

Along with anyone else that needed some help with their pop-ups.  Or anyone else who was being anywhere even NEAR lazy or sloppy with them. 

Thanks to the conditions with the sandbar, if you did not pop-up immediately and commit 100% to the wave you were on within the first millisecond of the wave catching you, then you were done. 

Pile driven into the sandbar.  Slammed.  Wipe out zone.  It’s over. 

So there is nothing like a little negative reinforcement from a something to be respected as much as the ocean to *really* get you to focus on one aspect of your surfing as much as I did in the last three sessions of the last 24 hours.  Out of it, I had some of the sloppiest wipe outs in months…but also some of the most perfect pop ups ever

It all comes down to the situations and conditions that you put yourself in.  If you are always in an easy situation, then that is going to be your capacity.  You may do fine, maybe even excel there.  But as soon as the pressure is on, then how well will you do? 

That statement sounds a little work-ethic-y, but if you are trying to succeed in something (life, for that matter) that will give you an indescribable thrill, then it is not working just to go higher up some ladder.  It is just swimming…surviving in whatever ocean you may find yourself in at the moment.  You can just swim in a pool…or you can go out and find some oceans to swim in.

If you are really up to the challenge of living life, I suggest finding the oceans that have deep drop offs for the swells and table top sandbars before their beaches. 

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