Ever since I was a little girl, living in Southern California, I was told that I was a beach girl. I knew I spent some time at the beach with my friends, but not a lot. It always seemed to be that BECAUSE I was from SoCal that I was a beach girl…when really, I hated the feeling of sand and salt on my body, and being in cold water was enough to make me cringe. Want to say I’m a beach girl now? Haha, yeah right. I was definitely an outdoorsy girl though; I loved running around barefoot in the grass!
Throughout many summers growing up, I went to the beach with my friends. I was younger and carefree, not worrying about the temperature of the water (unbeknownst to most, it is freak’n COLD in CA!) or how messy anything and everything was while I was there. But as I grew up, the beach became a place of bon fires and just laying out with my friends. But even then, I never thought myself a beach girl.
There was even a phase I went through, just as I started high school, where I really played into the roll, and wanted to surf and be good at it. I subscribed to every surfing magazine I could get my hands on, had too many puka shell necklaces to count, and swooned over every cute surfer boy in my magazines (ohhh…Kalani Robb…how I still adore you).
I have known a lot of people in my life who say they love the beach. But really, I think they only like the beach. In the summer. When it’s warm and they are comfortable there. It wasn’t until I met Whit that I really learned what it meant to be a beach lover, and seriously dedicated surfer.
This guy braves cold weather temperatures that cause him to get so cold he can’t speak (!!!), just to surf. He doesn’t care what the weather, temperature, time or day; if he can surf the waves, he’s out there at least twice a day.
Being around him, listening to him talk about surfing, surf boards, surf conditions, surf spots…has made me really appreciate the sport, and the beach so much more over the past year plus that I’ve known him. This has really got me revved up to try and get back on a board again myself.
I don’t have a long history with surfing, but there is one. When I was in high school I remember taking a trip to San Diego with my cousin and family, where we rented these big foamy long boards to try and surf on our own. It was no easy feat, but I remember giving up soon after because I was too cold, and never felt like I would ever be able to do it correctly. A few years later I met my college roomie, Dana, who is from Maui, where I went to visit her one summer. We took the beaches by storm and I stood up on a surf board for the first time…in which I promptly fell off, and onto a big coral reef and scratched myself up pretty badly.
After that trip I hadn’t gotten on a board until last year, almost 7 years later! When I went to visit Kauai with Whit for the first time last May I had the opportunity to surf and learn to do so properly, but didn’t really take the opportunity to do it. At the time, I was a month away from the San Diego marathon so I was too afraid I was going to hurt myself, so I resorted to running on the beach and just chilling out. Last September when we went I didn’t surf, but paddle boarded, which was fun, but obviously not surfing, which is what I really wanted to do. Still fun though!
Mostly though, I am afraid to surf because being the perfectionist that I am, I’m afraid I’ll never be able to do it correctly. But how do I know I won’t be able to do it if I don’t try, right?
So when I head off to Kauai again on Friday for a bit, I have every plan to try and surf as much as possible. My goal is to try and get out there for at least three different sessions, with the ultimate goal of standing up for more than 3 seconds! I’m certainly looking forward to it, and have no excuses this time! There is no race to run and I am not allowed to use my low body self esteem to keep me from doing it.
What sport or activity have you wanted to do but were afraid to try? I encourage you to go try if you haven’t!