These are no ordinary surf students. That's my 17 year old step son on the left. The back right is my 9 year old son. The guy in the blue is the teacher and smack-bang in the middle? Oh, that's me.
Yep, me. Surfing. Well, trying to.
Husband bought us all a surfing lesson for Christmas. We've all expressed interest in learning to surf over the years and it's now becoming a reality. Sort of.
It took some serious concentration, strenuous effort and some advanced contortionist techniques - that was just to get into the wet-suits. Jumping up and down on the spot, yanking on my full-length steamer I couldn't help but think this was going to be the hardest part of the lesson. Yeah...no.
The surf conditions were pretty ordinary with a dumpy shore-break that grew as the lesson went on. Our teacher, an ex pro-surfer named Blake explained that it was far from ideal but he would still be able to get us onto a few waves and we'd hopefully enjoy the experience.
Blake wasn't wrong. He did manage to get us onto the waves, but there's only so much a teacher can do. At some point, the student has to make the commitment to lift the chest off the board, jump to the feet in a wide stance in one swift motion and make a conscious decision on which way to fall off.
Unfortunately, it took me quite a few goes before I got past step one. It seems at the age of 32 (OK, OK, 42. Shut-up.) and with no more than 2 burpees under my belt in the last...ooh... what's it been....8 years?....that jumping quickly up onto my feet on a floating moving board in a split second is really freaking hard.
As the reality of "jump up failure" hits, remembering to not fall face-first into the very shallow white water (remembering we're learning in a shitty shore-break) did not come easily either.
And so it went. Pep-talk from Blake, determined agreement from me, motion, chest lift, attempted stand, face plough, recover, battle and paddle back out. Repeat.
On a positive note, it was a great way to clear the sinuses.
Don't fret, friends, it wasn't all hopeless:
|This may or may not be me.|
The above image is used for illustration purposes only. Seriously, I did manage to get onto my feet, even if it was without an ounce of grace. If husband have had taken this photo just a little later, I swear I would have looked just like the chick in the other pic. Swear.
After this wave, I decided to quit while I was ahead. You know, go out on a high. That's the high of having conquered that 1 foot wave. I also felt it was highly likely my arms would fall off if I tried to do it just one more time.
Mr 9 had already pulled up. He enjoyed the lesson; he was just ready to dig a hole. Standing on the beach, I had the opportunity to properly watch Mr 17 who didn't seem to have a problem at all with the process. Despite years of his dad encouraging him to take up surfing, this was his first lesson. He nailed it. Pfft.
So what did I take away from the lesson? This:
- Wet-suits are well worth the effort. They keep all your bits in place and create the illusion of a flat stomach. They keep you warm, too.
- Surfing makes you hurt in unexpected places.
- I'm desperate to try it again.
- I might turn professional.
Thank you, husband.
Have you tried something new lately?