I am back from my three weeks vacation in Portugal and Spain, two of which I chose to spend surfing.
Generally, I am not very good at sports. Hated PE in highschool, wasn´t talented for anything, I am even kinda scared of balls and anything that moves too fast or seems uncontrollable to me. The only things I have always enjoyed doing was dancing and swimming. People kept on telling me that there is a sport for everybody. One sport that just fits you like a glove. A sport you enjoy doing and are good doing it.
I figured I´ll give it a shot. Surfing seemed to have several advantages to begin with: Nothing attached to my feet which would give me a better sense of control. It would be in the water, which I love. And it would be by the beach – can it get any better than that?
Surfing actually turned out to be a much greater teacher to me than expected. To me surfing was not about competing with others, it is only about competing with yourself. It is not only a sport, it is training for your soul just as much as for your body.
It was an amazing feeling to me not to think of anything else and staying focused on one thing only. While I was in the surf-camp the only important thing was to listen to my body in order for it to function the way I need it to function for several hours a day surrounded by the magic called ocean. I slept and ate like a bear and got up at 7 a.m. during my vacation – voluntarily.
I would not go as far as to say I found “my sport”. It did definitely not fit me like a glove. There were days when I was so frustrated that I would call the water names and hit it with both of my hands like a small kid. Other times I would talk to the sea and ask it for bigger waves or faster breaks. On some days the waves and I were like good friends while on other days the waves would hit me in the stomach and try to drown me. Sometimes the waves would try to swallow me and spit me out like they were trying to tell me: You don´t belong here. It was a fascinating, learning experience and I did not give up. Every day was a new challenge with new conditions and new moods of the sea. My surf instructor told me I was too tense and I should let go of wanting to catch the waves. Just like anything: if you want it, let it go – and it will come by itself!