Saturday, October 10, 2009


I don't know what to tell you. I had a great session today and I need to talk about surfing and all my friends are in bed. I can't help it!

So I'm just getting over the plague and still hacking like a 20-year smoker, but I had to get in the water today! It's been 2 1/2 weeks since my lesson with Julie, and I was aching to get in. I called Jules and she fit me in for a lesson, so I packed my cough syrup and was off for the beach. When I rented my gear (dude, $10 off this time - I am totally in on the bro deal) the owner told me that next week they're selling off ALL THEIR USED GEAR and I might be able to get the exact stuff I use each week at serious discount. I froze and said, "Like what?" Dudes. The prices are crazy!

I can't even tell you how pumped I got about this. Besides being unemployed, I'm currently looking for jobs that pay less than half of what I used to make. My mindset is basically that it will be a miracle for me to ever again have cash to blow like I used to. I constantly think through when I might be able to buy gear and have guessed it's maybe a year out, if I'm very lucky. Wetsuits are crazy expensive and boards are astronomical. And the specific gear I use each time I surf is going to be sold next week for the price of a massage or two. It's too good to be true. I mean, it's a freakin old wetsuit that doesn't even fit perfectly, and the board is the biggest, ugliest, most god-awful thing you ever saw, honestly, but I'M SO PSYCHED! GEAR! I bought a year-long pass for the beach (it's a fee park) so this means I could actually go surfing for the cost of gas money. Too much.

Ok, calm. So next week I'm going to be getting up crazy early and making it to the ocean before the crack to stand at the door of the shop to try to get my gear before someone else does.

And how could a session that started like that be anything but awesome? So I levitated to the beach and met Jules for our beach talk. (Again - top secret stuff. World problems were solved, secrets of life were spilled. That's all I can say.) The water was gorgeous - as clear as I've seen it - and small, which is so perfect for me and my scared ass. Again there was no undertow - it just wasn't the same ocean that gave me a beat down before. There were a hell of a lot of jelly fish - I didn't take one ride without seeing at least one - and I think I nudged a crab. Ew. The water was perfect, although cold. I got my first ice cream headache the first time I went under . . . it's going to be a long winter. I think I rode a few green waves, one in particular, which is new for me. So far, I'm a whitewater girl. But we wandered out further than normal in search of longer rides and that was good to experience. Weird to feel a wave under me without hearing it coming first.

We set goals for each session, and I met my goals for today, which were basically to be patient with myself coming off two weeks of no exercise and illness, and to improve from my last time in the water. The holy grail is to get both of my goddamn feet on my board, but I'm trying to enjoy it all. I worked on turning my front foot perpendicular to the board and pushing with both hands off my right knee, but I only made small progress with both of those. I did take one ride where it just worked - charge forward, plant my right foot, turn and pop up - and both feet were on the deck. It didn't last long, but I had enough time to pump my fists in the air. :) God, this is fun.

I tired out fast, an hour or so - such a bummer on a gorgeous day - and didn't surf after Jules left. I just returned my gear and drove home with a huge smile and a killer October tan on my face. Tonight eHarmony guy #3 came over for a movie and he was nice enough to indulge me with my latest from Netflix - Step Into Liquid. Well, holy crap, what can I say? Who cares about the guy, that movie was perfection! I don't know what to do now but put it in again and watch it all night. It's the coolest, most spot-on surf movie/documentary I've ever seen - it describes the feelings and the connection with the water better than I thought possible. And the best part is that it's all about the total joy that comes from surfing - they include surfers of every age and every single skill level. I could hardly contain myself during it - I let out a few hoots and hollers. Also? Laird Hamilton. Yum.

Incredible day. I feel so, so lucky to be learning to surf. Is this really my life? Pinch me.


  1. That's awesome!

    I still don't know about eHarmony guy (did he come over at 8:15?) but am stoked for you about the surfing.

    Like how I used surf language there? ;-)

  2. Excellent post about an excellent day! Plus the book and extra schwag from your Patagonia peeps! I say ditch Portland, move to Ventura, work at Patagonia, and surf twice a day in a thin wetsuit. :-) I've got a copy of Chouinard's book, "Let My People Go Surfing" that's about the early days and corporate culture at Patagonia--I'll pass it along to you someday soon.

    Also, this is probably an appropriate time to note that I've had a man-crush on Laird for many years now. It's one of Amy's standing jokes. :-)