I’m not surfing. It’s so lame. I mean, it makes sense, given the kids/husband/job/conditions/other commitments, but still, it’s pathetic. I’m regressing instead of improving. I surfed more in the fall of 2003 than the fall of 2004. Sure, the sand bar was about a hundred times better and I hadn’t yet broken my leash in double-overhead surf and hadn’t witnessed a shark attack, but really, how am I ever going to surf serious surf if I’m not out there out there out there? Even more importantly: who will I be if I’m not surfing? Because I won’t be me. Like moving to Humboldt, surfing has been an experience in finding home. Not because I’m particularly good — I’m not — but the water, the way of seeing the ocean, certain aspects of surfing have provided words for a language previously buried. Knowing the buoys, tides, breaks, forecasts is a way of expressing this particular passion as artfully as poetry to romance. On the best days, with the best crowd, I recognize that these are my people in the same way I feel a genetic connection to my family.
On a less sentimental note (the best writing should be almost sentimental, almost), as a formerly shy and physically insecure girlchildperson, the thrill of being strong and brave and occasionally coordinated makes me feel about 50 feet tall – which makes up for all the times I failed the push up tests in junior high P.E.
I tell myself, I know it’s not really ME not surfing; it’s my life, the conditions, the timing. Things will calm down. Tomorrow, I tell myself. Tomorrow.