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It's a new year according to the lunar calendar. The year of The Rabbit. It's a great time to ask ourselves what gets us excited to get up in the mornings, or what do we look forward to in the days or weeks ahead? Could it be the simple luxury of a good cup of coffee, or the upcoming tropical vacation?
For me finding my passion in surfing has given me a greater perspective as a mom.
Vacation in Hawaii
My last big vacation was spent in the paradise of Hawaii. For the first time in a long time, I did something for ME. What I have always wanted to try was surfing!
How does one search for the ultimate first time surfing experience? After reading great reviews about a woman-based business in Oahu called Girls Who Surf, I gave them a call. My husband and I met Cecilia, our Brazilian surf instructor at White Plains Beach, near the Ko Olina beach resort, and far away from the crowds of Waikiki. This experience was to be a private debut and not in front of a throng of beachgoers. After all this is a mom with some dignity!
The land based portion of the private lesson involved laying on top of the surfboard on the sand. Cecilia taught me how to paddle, get up on the board, and what to do when the wave is coming at you. With a rash guard on (SPF shirt as a layer), water shoes on, ankle tied to the board with a leash, I was ready to meet my first wave.
Paddle, Paddle, Paddle
A few yards away from shore, I immediately had to paddle a lot and paddle fast! With Cecilia nearby, she positioned me for the wave. With my board pointing towards land, while I was laying down on it, and looking behind me, waiting for the "perfect" wave, I heard the words "paddle, paddle, paddle", then "stand"!
There were two ways I was taught on how to get up on the surfboard. Instinctively, I jumped on the board, without going through the moves in my head. In a split second, the wave was pushing me forward. I was gliding on top of the water! Moments later, my first wave was over.
Riding the Wave
What a feeling it was to ride a wave. It was so exhilarating. I was thrilled to be able to surf on my first attempt, especially since I thought being a less-than strong swimmer would hinder me. But, the salt in the water helped me float, and my board was my lifesaver, as long as I was attached to it. I wanted to do it again. It was such a high. I was hooked on surfing.
On the next couple waves, I was able to stand again and ride the wave. They were little waves, not the kind you see at surf competitions. Nevertheless, they were waves and I surfed. Nearing the end of the lesson, I was entirely wiped out. My arm muscles weren't accustomed to the paddling rigors of surfing. I let my husband finish out the lesson, while I laid on the beach to take pictures.
What surfing teaches us
As a mom, we let our children try out new activities, and we support them wholeheartedly. We drive them to practice, wash their uniform, prepare their snacks etc. I have learned that it's just as important as moms to show our children that we have our own interests, and we take on new endeavors.
The lessons I take away from my surf experience were:
(1) Taking action in preparing for a new endeavor, such as exercising at the gym or swimming at the pool, teaches our children about preparation and commitment.
(2) Taking action with lessons in a new sport demonstrates to our children a sense of adventure.
Attempting something new can be a bit intimidating. But, it can also be a lot of fun. It can even lead to a new hobby or interest. In finding my passion, I feel that I can relate better to my daughters. Whether they are auditioning for a part in a musical, or performing a dance routine in front of an audience, I can relate to their anxiety and their joy.
With the start of a new year, wouldn't it be fun to try something new?