Saturday, June 4, 2011


I went out with Jules last Saturday and again yesterday. What a dream. Summer is coming and the surf is finally semi-consistent; no more going three months waiting for a wave. (At least, not until autumn.)

Last Saturday was funky. I was still trying different boards (courtesy of the surf shop) and I'd taken the 9'2" out again. In our beach talk, Jules and I had a ton to catch up on - it's been so long since we've worked together consistently. It ended up being kind of a crap session for me - I just couldn't find my groove. I do much better now on the 9'2" than on Sally, my 10', but I was just feeling kind of over being on borrowed boards. I told Jules that I needed to figure it out and either get a new board or get back with Sally, and she said I was becoming a surf snob. Me? A snob? Inconceivable. But that wasn't it -- it feels so good to work with the same board. All I can say is that each session is like investing in a relationship, and riding a different board each session made me feel like I was wasting time building a relationship with a board I'd never see again. (Jules suggested I think of riding the 9'2" as an awesome one night stand :) I slid around a bit and did ok, but it was too big to go out (and by "too big" I mean way too big - I swear it was 8' with 10' swells) and I couldn't find my groove on the borrowed board even in the white water.

I ended up forgetting I'd have to return the board and in frustration I wrote an obscenity on the deck with wax. When I took it back to the shop, I hung my head and told the shop owner what I'd done (even though I'd mostly covered it up with more wax). He said, "Come here, LSL" and gave me a big hug. He said he'd never been so proud of me. A week later, he's still stoked on my potty mouth and said the curse word is going to become my new nickname. Gawd.

Driving to the coast that morning before my lesson, I was listening to Cat Stevens (part of my latest surf drive mix) and thinking about how s-h-i-t-t-y life is lately. I was thinking about what I'd learned in a previous session, and was just noticing that I'm still in such a damn hurry to just get where I'm going. And actually, I don't really care about getting where I'm going; I just want to avoid where I'm at now. It sucks. But I had a thought while driving in, while I was focused on all of the resistance I'm feeling -- resistance to being 40, being single/without Huntington Beach, being overweight/out of shape, being in the middle of this ridiculous career change. I thought, what if the resistance is part of the process? I wondered, what if resistance is not something to be avoided or gotten over, but an important part of the process of getting where I'm going? If that was the case, I might be able to let up a little, not feel quite so much like I'm wasting time but more like there was possibly something important to learn from this difficult place I'm at.

Honestly, if you want to know what I was thinking about, I was thinking of my cat. JJ has a meow that is so irritating; I swear that one of these days I'm going to video it and slap it on the blog. I love that cat and we've been together for about 15 years, but some days he won't stop with the meowing and I want to put him in a box with holes and ship him to Uganda. But that morning before I left for the coast, he was meowing and meowing and meowing, and I was thinking: I guess that, no matter how irritating it is to me, if he's doing all that meowing, he must have a message he wants to get out. He must have something to say. And that's what I was thinking about when I was driving in -- that my resistance lately has been incessant, and that maybe I should stop trying to put it in a box and ship it to Uganda.

When I got to my lesson I told Jules what I'd been thinking about during the drive -- not the cat part, but that maybe instead of rushing to get rid of the resistance, I could consider viewing it as important, like a messenger. Maybe there was something I could learn from it. Jules agreed wholeheartedly. She said I should invite resistance in, get to know it, fix it lunch.

So of course I spent most of the lesson wondering what I would make Resistance for lunch. I was pretty hit-and-miss on my rides. Afterwards I told Jules that I wanted to focus as much as possible on getting my timing down on green waves, and that I wanted to paddle out every chance we got. So that's the plan: paddle out every session, make resistance lunch.


  1. Steven Pressfield wrote a book called "The War of Art," and I thought of it when reading this post because almost the entire thing is about Resistance with a capital 'R', just the way you've termed it here. I got up and plucked it off my book shelf and opened it up to the beginning and read: Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.

    It's a good book and I almost forgot that I had it. I think I'll have to pick it up and read it again, considering how much I am wailing against making some needed changes in my life that I proclaim I so desperately need to make. Anyway, I agree that you can probably learn a lot from your Resistance.

    (You should probably ban me from making comments on your blog. Holy crap I am writing some long and rambling ones this morning. I blame the lack of sleep.)

  2. I was smiling big for you through Sunday's post, nearly sobbing like a baby through this one, only because I can relate to "resistance" so much right now.

    Maybe she'd like a margarita. mojito or a martini for lunch?

  3. I love Vahid's comment.

    I think I need to do something similar as I have been fighting against Resistance. So much so that I am constantly exhausted yet feel I have made no progress. WTF?

    What was the curse word? You dirty bird. Ha.

  4. A shrink buddy of mine always tells me, "Sit with the resistance. The answer is in the resistance." I'm like, wtf? The answer is in the resistance? Oh, ferfuckssake.

    It's probably not surprising that I have tremendous issues with growth and disastisfaction. I think I might need to make some parts of me lunch.