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Monday, November 21, 2011

Riding Unbroken Waves

Thrilled with the ride. You can't wipe the smile off my face.
Photos by Oriana Fowler/Surf Simply

{Blog Note: March 26, 2012}
I'm linking up this post as part of Alison's and Ado's 1st Blogoversary Blog Bash! Both are incredible women and bloggers. They asked us to link up our favorite blog post of all time. I choose this post, describing my first experience catching and riding a wave on a surfboard, for two reasons. 

First, surfing is the reason that I started this blog. I learned to surf in April 2011 and completely and utterly fell in love with it. Some might even say I am obsessed. In either case, I experienced a sense of exhilaration and happiness that I haven't felt in a really long time. I started this blog because I wanted to stay connected to that feeling as well as chronicle my quest to learn to surf and what I learned along the way. There aren't many resources out there for newbie surfers. 

Second, today - March 26, 2012 - I am having my ACL reconstructed in my right knee. I'm having surgery because I want to continue to lead an active life, one that includes running, yoga, swimming, hiking, playing with my kids, skiing and surfing. What better way to remember this day than by celebrating one of the main reasons why I want to get better.

I hope you like it. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Happy Blogoversary Alison and Ado!

{Original Post: November 21, 2011}

The first time time that I paddled out the back - out past where the waves were breaking so that you're in position to catch unbroken waves - was amazing. It was a little nerve-wracking to paddle up and over waves that looked like they were about to crash on my head at any minute. I felt like I was bracing myself for battle, taking on each oncoming wave one at a time - at least in theory until my fear and anxiety began to rise. Then I started to sprint and quickly get out of breath. 

But once I'm out, it is so peaceful. You get to sit on your surfboard, enjoying the view while noticing how lumps start to appear on the horizon and watching how they roll in and change shape to get a sense of where the wave will break, if it's surfable or not and where you would have to be to catch the wave. You watch as your fellow surfers start to paddle for a wave, start to stand up and then disappear down the other side of the wave.

As I sat there watching everyone take their turn in the line up, I looked out to the horizon and noticed a larger lump moving in. Uh-oh, thinking to myself that this one looked like it's going to break sooner and way before it gets to me. Crap. That meant that I would have to paddle out to meet the wave. That meant that I would probably have to turtle roll in order to get through the wave without getting crushed. And so I did. And I survived, again waiting in the calm beyond the wave with my heart pounding in my head.

The next time we paddled out, I catch my first unbroken wave. And then my second. The first was OK. After I caught the wave, I was a little off balance. The front edge of my board dug in and I fell off. The second wave was AWESOME. It wasn't a big wave but I got up, managed to turn my board so that I trimmed across the face (a little bit at least) and rode the wave all the way into the beach. It was an exhilarating experience. You feel all that power of the wave, surging forward and backing off slightly before surging forward again. And it just made me happy. 

As I get back out to the line-up, Ed asks me, "So, was it worth it? Was it worth all the paddling?" All I can answer is "YES!!" 

"And it's worth the turtle rolls?"

"Totally worth the turtle rolls."

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At November 29, 2011 at 9:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this first post! Great job on the surf! Love the big smile at the end! Getting that feeling when you feel like the ocean has turned you inside out is totally worth it every time!

At March 26, 2012 at 12:23 AM , Blogger Dude of The House said...

Thanks for sharing this, as someone who has never surfed, I felt like I was right there with you. Hope your surgery and recovery go smoothly. Best wishes.

At March 26, 2012 at 4:30 AM , Blogger Alison@Mama Wants This said...

Thank you for celebrating with us with this post!

I think it's awesome that you learned to surf - I wouldn't have the guts :)

At March 26, 2012 at 8:58 AM , Anonymous Kimberly at Rubber Chicken Madness said...

I love the ocean. I love being on a boat. Have never had the nerve to learn to surf. Good for you that you tried and succeeded!

At March 26, 2012 at 11:12 AM , Anonymous Ado said...

First off, YAY I am so glad you came by to link up with us and help us celebrate Blog Bash with such an upbeat post! The photos are amazing - I thought they were of your daughter, you look fantastic! It was very inspiring to read about your new hobby and what a GREAT obsession to have. A healthy one - you're outdoors - nothing wrong with being obsessed with surfing.
I want my daughters to know how to surf and one has taken lessons - although I can only "body surf" - now you've given me an idea. Hmmm... I may take a lesson or two myself this summer. (-:

At March 26, 2012 at 11:20 AM , Blogger Life As Wife said...

Amazing shots of the water!

I've always wanted to surf, seems so freeing!

At March 26, 2012 at 1:10 PM , Anonymous my honest answer said...

Best of luck with the surgery! Great post, almost enough to make me want to try surfing. Almost.

At March 26, 2012 at 1:37 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Amazing! I wouldn't have the courage to try it either.
Best of luck with your ACL surgery.

At March 26, 2012 at 1:52 PM , Anonymous Kerstin said...

Wow, what an accomplishment! Good for you!
Best wishes for your surgery!

At March 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm incredibly awkward on land and in water, so surfing is probably out. But that last photo of you is...euphoric.

At March 26, 2012 at 6:34 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Thank you so much for your well wishes. Surfing is such an indescribable and unique experience. I wasn't sure if I could describe it in a way that would connect with surfers and non-surfer alike so I very much appreciate your comment!

At March 26, 2012 at 6:36 PM , Blogger Christine said...

I couldn't turn down a party and celebration! ;-)

I didn't think that I would have to guts to do it either. It was definitely a test but I'm so glad that I did it.

At March 26, 2012 at 6:38 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Thank you! I love the ocean too - but usually from the vantage point of my beach chair. I've always been a little afraid of the ocean and surfing actually has helped me manage that fear. I'm so happy that I decided to try it. It's still a work in progress but a fun one!

At March 26, 2012 at 6:42 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Thank YOU and Alison for hosting the Blog Bash and for the chance to remember one of our favorite posts. I really and truly do love my new hobby/obsession. There is so much for me to learn and explore and I'm really excited about that. I want my sons to learn to surf too! They are still a bit young but we're hoping to push them around on the surfboard this summer. And you should definitely take some lessons this summer! If you can body surf, you can definitely surf. Can't wait to hear *your* report back on surfing :-)

At March 26, 2012 at 6:44 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Thanks! I definitely can't take credit for the photos. We were lucky to have a great photographer working with the surf camp we went to in Costa Rica, where these shots are taken. Surfing is incredibly freeing - unlike anything else I've ever done. I highly recommend trying it!!

At March 26, 2012 at 6:45 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Thanks! What else can I write about to convince you to give surfing a go? ;-)

At March 26, 2012 at 6:46 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Thank you for your comment and well wishes! Now starting on the road to recovery!!

At March 26, 2012 at 6:46 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Thank you!

At March 26, 2012 at 6:47 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Awww, thanks so much. That's pretty much how I felt. I couldn't believe what I had just accomplished.

At March 29, 2012 at 8:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

learning to surf is one of my top ten goals in life, but i haven't done it because the idea of turtle rolls freak me the hell out!! thanks for the inspiration!

At March 29, 2012 at 11:07 PM , Blogger Christine said...

I hope that you do give surfing a go. It really is an amazing experience and the turtle rolls are totally worth it to get out there and catch waves. Once you learn the technique, they aren't that bad...mostly. But still, it's so worth it!


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