I'm sitting here pondering surfing tomorrow am really early. Leave the house at 2:30 get there at 4:30. No that's too early. 3:00am, get there just before five get in and surf all out for a few hours then go to work. My self-imposed law states that the driving/ surfing ratio should be at a minimum 1:1, otherwise it's foolish to go. Im pretty spent from the events of the past few weeks, maybe I should just go to work. Guess I'll come to terms with the thought process tomorrow am when it's dark and quiet.
As I write this I'm impressed with the change in the way that I feel about myself after surfing for almost four weeks straight. I've lost ten pounds. I can actually see muscles I forgot I had that became defined by surfing Gert, tropical storm 10, Irma, and Jose. I wish I could do this all the time, yet I have work, family, responsibilities, chores (like mowing my way-too-big lawn).
To be totally honest, there's not a lot except for my parenting responsibilities and staffing at work that I factor in front of taking advantage of hurricane swells. They are a gift to surfers and rare events that are not to be squandered. As a result, not much gets in the way of my relationship with surfing at times like this (all year long also, to be honest).
Get there before the sun, changing into my wetsuit in the dark with only the light of the cab of the truck to go by- who needs light anyway, I've done it a thousand times. When its dark, I don't even use a towel, just changing into a wetsuit with no clothes on in the middle of a parking lot. So weird. I tell my kid "don't worry, nobody cares (but he does). Walk across the rocks and slip into the cold "only at first" water and paddle out through the charging white water to get to where it's safe and sit there for a while catching my breath (never go for a wave when you're exhausted from the one before). Look for waves to catch at the same time admire the bobbing lights on the horizon of the fishing boats supplying New England with their catch of the day. Keep an eye out for the sun. When it comes through the wave, it's the most beautiful sight, something only surfers see.
And as I write this (why can't we start a sentence with "and?"), I wonder how many people out there exist without a passion in their life? What is it like to never feel the effects of the life-giving drive I just outlined above, to never feel the invisible and irresistible urges like I'm describing? I hope I never live with that void because it seems to me from this distance it would be like being dead, living aimlessly from one season to the next.
I look at it like this- you only live once. Live for as long as you can with some form of extreme passion, and be as happy as possible at whatever it costs you, as long as you don't trample others that get in your way. Find that passion and sink your teeth into it and don't let go. Be great at that passion.
That's been my approach for years, but it wasn't until the past month that the pursuit of that happiness by surfing so much has really manifested itself in my awareness that for me, surfing helps me stay really really alive inside and out.
Hi, my name is
David Benjamin and I started swimming in Chappaqua, NY., swam for Badger swim team, Mercersburg Academy, NC State University, then Westport YMCA masters. I got bored of the ol' back and forth of competitive swimming and the high cost of skiing. Surfing took over and I never looked back.