As I have mentioned a few times before, I have a passion for surfing (even though I am not that good at it) and I have a few personal goals related to improving my surfing. One of those goals is to be good enough to handle myself in decent sized waves at around the 5-6 foot mark. As part of this overall goal, I had set myself a task of surfing 3 times this week and was to have completed this by Tuesday.
It was Monday morning and I still hadn’t filled my quota, and knowing that I would really struggle to get another surf in by Tuesday I really had to go out that morning before work if I was going to have any chance of doing it. It was about 5.45am, dark and cold (about 7 degrees), but I forced myself out of bed, grabbed the wetsuit and the board and headed to the beach.
Conditions weren’t real ideal for me. The waves were big, the paddle out looked hard, and the waves were closing out hard. I sat in the car with the heater running trying to decide if I was going out for a wave, or go for a swim in the ocean baths. I had made a deal with myself that if for any reason that I couldn’t surf 3 times, I would replace it with a swim of at least 800m.
I stayed at the surf break I was thinking about surfing at for about 10 minutes watching the waves and trying to psych myself up enough to go out. I decided to drive down the beach and check out another break to see if it was any better…. It wasn’t, so after 10 minutes of watching it I went back to the break I started at. Needless to say, it was no better, but I sat there as another 10 minutes went by (with the heater on) trying to decide whether to surf or swim. I made up my mind that I was going to swim, so I put the car in gear and started off toward the surf baths.
About 200m down the road, I made a snap decision to change my mind and decided I was going surfing. I felt I would be disappointed if I didn’t at least give it a go, so I made up my mind to stop t, grab the board and just get in. I stopped the car, popped the boot (trunk, hatch, whatever you call it) and got out of the car. I lifted the boot, and turned around to check the waves one more time. Then, I heard the boot of the car slam shut…. and for some stupid reason I had put the keys in the boot. I had also locked the car doors when I had gotten out.
So there I was, in my wetsuit, with no surfboard, no shoes, and no way to get into the car. My spare keys were at home, about 2 km away. By now it was about 6.40… and did I mention it was bloody cold?? Nothing else for me to do but walk home on my bare, office prepared, tender feet. Ever noticed how much more your feet hurt when they are cold and you kick your toe? Walking on bitumen and sharp stones with office feet like mine has the same effect. This was magnified over the 2km walk. I got a few strange looks on the way home.. its not often you see someone with a dry wetsuit, dry hair and no surfboard walking from the beach at that time of the morning. I could do nothing but laugh about it.. I had wasted a whole morning procrastinating about going, and couldn’t imagine it turning out any worse. No surf, no swim, just a long walk with cold feet.
The lesson I learned out of it was to 'just do it'… had I had made the commitment and just gotten in, I would have at least felt like I had accomplished something. I missed my target for the week, but Tuesday’s surf was much better!
Have a great week guys!