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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

We spent the afternoon of New Year's Eve playing around the Dumbo waterfront - a neighborhood in Brooklyn that sits between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and one of our favorites in the city. It technically stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. It was a beautiful day - unseasonably warm with temperature in the 50s and sunny skies. A perfect day for the playground, throwing rocks into the water, watching the subway trains run across the Manhattan Bridge and enjoying some treats from Jacques Torres Chocolate.

My kids are also somewhat obsessed with carousels so a ride on Jane's Carousel was also on our agenda. The carousel was originally created in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and first installed in Youngstown, Ohio, before falling into disrepair years later and has been painstakingly restored. It's now housed in an awesome modern building designed by renowned and Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel right on the waterfront.

Today, we spent a beautiful morning running around Central Park, climbing boulders, and soaking up sunshine - surely an auspicious start to the new year. 

2011 was definitely a year of ups and downs. It's been incredible to watch my two boys grow into themselves and develop their sense of humor and appreciation for the world. As they grow, our family is slowly finding our own unique identity. It was the year that I decided to leave my full-time position, strike out on my own and try to create a work lifestyle that was more forgiving to myself and my family. 2011 was also their year when I discovered and fell in love with surfing. I feel pretty lucky to have had the opportunity to cultivate this new found love among the supportive, caring, super smart and funny folks at Surf Simply and in the warm waters of Costa Rica. I have learned the importance of taking care of myself and not just constantly put everyone else first on impulse. I have been trying to make it a priority to nurture my own sense of self and well being while also juggling the responsibilities of being a mom and wife, building a freelance consulting practice from scratch, managing the household and learning to re-negotiate the relationships in my life.

I am looking forward to 2012 and all that it has in store. In particular, I am excited to see how my surfing will improve. It's got to get better, right? I am not one to make resolutions but with the reality of winter settling in and the slow acceptance of the fact that I'm not going to be able to surf for a while (unless someone decides to leave some plane tickets at my doorstep for a mid-winter getaway), I decided to set some surf-related goals to keep me going through the winter.

1) Learn more about surf forecasting, weather patterns, wave mechanics and surf reports so that I can make sense of what I'm looking at and it's not just a bunch of jibberish. Any tips on where to get started?

2) Train to be a stronger and more confident surfer. Swim to build endurance for paddling, build core strength and flexibility. I am intrigued by Taylor Knox's Surf Exercises videos and curious to try it out. Practice 10 pop-ups in the morning and in the evening to build my muscle memory so that when I do get back in the water, my body will be familiar with the motions and it won't feel so foreign. OK, I'll settle for just 10 pop-ups a day.

3) Read 2-3 surf-related books. It's been fun reading about other people's surfing journeys like Kook and Saltwater Buddha. Any other recommendations?

4) Since the winter surf in NYC is supposed to be great, get out to the beach once or twice to watch and witness the die-hards in action.

Hopefully that will help keep the fires stoked while I try to stay warm through the winter. I also plan on living vicariously through other people's blogs as they recount their surf adventures so surf more for me! Here's to a great 2012!

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At January 2, 2012 at 3:24 PM , Blogger Surfing Grandma of OC said...

Yes.. Read West Of Jesus. Good Book.. I think about the Conductor every time I am in the water after reading that book. Happy New Year Christine..Hope it brings nothing but the best for you and your family. =)

At January 16, 2012 at 10:01 AM , Blogger luschen said...

The best instructional book about surfing by a large margin is Surfing Illustrated: It is almost like listening to Ru or Harry give a surfing lesson on the whiteboard. I think they may have secretly written the book because the funny little sketches in the book look just like something they would draw. And like them, it doesn't use the special surf language that really doesn't mean anything. It also goes into a little more depth and a few more advanced moves than at Surf Simply. I constantly find myself saying "Oh yeah, I remember Harry saying that!".

At January 16, 2012 at 3:56 PM , Blogger Christine said...

I just took a quick look at Surfing Illustrated book and it looks great. I will definitely look into getting it. The sketches definitely remind me of Ru's and Harry's drawings!


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