A few weeks ago I attempted something I haven’t tried in years! Surfing 🏄♀️! My neighbor Jen has asked me multiple times to come out with her and she’d teach me. I always had an excuse of some reason not to go. I was either working, unpacking, or had some lame excuse not to go. Maybe I was afraid of getting out there and giving it a shot? Or maybe I was afraid of looking silly and uncertain in an area I had absolutely no clue about. Surfing?
I’m a decent swimmer thank goodness. At least I had THAT just in case I’m smashed by a wave or ran over by someone else. You hear the “stories “ about the local surfers being rude to newbies or inlanders. I kept laughing to myself the night before going that I’d go nose to nose with some 30 year old local kid who was on his perfect wave and I was awkwardly tangled up in my leash. He’d slap me as he swooshed by. Wait? I don’t think you “swoosh” when you surf! See! I don’t even know the lingo ! This would be classic Danielle’ entertainment that my daughters wished they were around to witness.
7 am came around and my “Gidget” neighbor Jen texted me! “ Are you awake? We will leave in 20.” I popped up, started my coffee, and put on my somewhat sporty one-piece! Ugh! Wearing a bathing suit and trying to surf? My old body!
Yep! I said it. Old ! This old body! This past year I hadn’t made good choices for myself. I found myself not finding the time to take care of myself. My New Years resolution went out the door in which I promised myself to stay active, eat better, and rest more. All of that went out the window with my professional and personal stressors. I was letting the stress of my job, the challenges of a break up, and my ex-husbands latest court battle rule my life. A lot was happening in my life and I wasn’t handling it too well. I was feeling quite beaten down and my body was showing it. If my outsides were a mess my insides were too! Enough beating myself up already! It was time to let go of fear and face it! I fulfilled my dream of moving close to the sand and damn it! With the help of my cool new friend Jen I’m going to try something new that I’ll probably suck at but I’ll do it! I’ll get my not so hot bod out in the waves I love and try!
On the short drive to her favorite spot Jen’s eyes sparkled as she spoke about her surfing experiences. She’s 40 something and has been surfing about 5 or so years. She is super cool, down to earth, and has the patience to drag my butt with her at 7 am. She taught me how to put on my wet suit ( which is tougher than you think with DD’s ), carry my board, shuffle my feet in the sand to scare off the sting rays, and before I knew it we were paddling out to the waves!
Crap! ME! I was out there! I paddled my ass out there and sat up on my borrowed board and looked towards the horizon and what was around me. Jen was doing her thing and I was there on my own! I took this huge deep breath and felt the calm of the water at the time and felt a wave of tranquility run through my body. Is this Peace? Did my shoulders relax? A tear ran down my cheek, and soon I was crying. It was like my body was letting go of fear, uncertainty, mistrust, bad relationships, bad choices. Tears streamed down my face while my hands and legs felt comfort in the rocking of the water. It was as if the ocean was cradling my broken heart and battered soul. With each motion I was feeling lighter and happier. Every funky thing I’ve been holding in was drifting to sea. Then I smiled! I even laughed to myself! Look at me! I’m a middle aged woman, in a wet- suit, paddling around, wet hair, sun in my face. I was actually breathing in the beauty and peace around me! To my surprise two dolphins are almost next to me!
As I was clearing the bad thoughts from my head and smiling at its release two dolphins were playfully swimming close to me. I must have been a sight to others nearby because at that moment in time it was me, the ocean, and my two new friends! I’ve heard multiple times that dolphins are a sign of good luck and protection. Later I read that dolphins nearby you and somewhat interacting with you symbolizes strength, courage, self-confidence, virtue and strength to endure turmultous waters. They can also signify rebirth and renewal. I felt like a kid! I’m paddling around playfully slapping the water wanting to touch them and they were doing the same. Circling nearby, popping up and glimpsing at me, going around and around, up and down nearby. It was a moment I will never forget. It was at that moment that I made a choice to not be afraid. Not just out in the waves with my borrowed surfboard but in life. My tryst in the water trying something uncomfortably new, hanging with dolphins, in my not so perfect body was meant to happen. I was brought there to cry, to laugh, to be around something bigger than me! I felt like I was going to make it. Not only do I have my tribe on the land cheering me on but my ocean friends too.
Trying to catch a a wave and standing up my first time out didn’t happen. I rode a few on my tummy and my knees but I didn’t care. I embraced just being out in the water, releasing my pains, waving to my friend Jen from a distance. Loving life and what’s around me! I may never become that Gidget Surfer but I’ll keep trying. I honestly don’t even care if I suck at it! If I fall I’ll get back up and try again! Just like in life right? Or if a wave pushes me back two steps I’ll take three steps forward! I’ll eventually stand up and say woo woo! Look! This old lady conquered this! ( I doubt I’ll say that but it sounded good )
I’ve gone out a few more times after my first outing. I’m getting closer to getting the hang of it but even if I don’t master surfing I’m loving the connection I’ve found with being present and in the moment. I may have an old bod but my heart is full of love and adventure!
I’ll keep you updated on my progress and will promise you I’ll keep trying! Come join me anytime and maybe we will get lucky enough to play with the dolphins 😜#travel #sports #writer #beaches #surfing #dolphins #peace