Changing the “f” word

Don’t worry. It’s not what you think. What I mean by that is for the first day since we’ve been here and gone surfing, FEAR has finally turned into FUN.

On the way to Anclote beach in Punta de Mita today, Josh and I were discussing my issues of nausea prior to riding, starting all the way back at the house in anticipation. I said that so far, in the dozen or so times we’ve been surfing I have not actually experienced joy. I have experienced other things such as pummelling, washing up on the beach, nasty falls, cut feet, extremely bruised tricep, near knocks in the head by other surfers, anxiety due to large unpredictable sets and mass crowds in the water.  Joy, fun, excitement, thrill; not included.

What I needed was a good solid day on the waves, to catch a few back-to-backs and get my feet back in the game. Paddle, paddle, catch, jump up, ride. Repeat. It feels like its been too long since I’ve had a decent day where I’ve gotten up and rode a good wave into the beach. The past few surf days have been too crowded, inconsistent sets & too much waiting, peaky and ferocious in Sayulita, and tsunami day tense this past Saturday.

Today, the waves today weren’t too big, fairly consistent with enough gaps between sets to get your bearings and paddle back out without getting pounded and tired on the way back out. I’ve found lately, I take poundings more gracefully and strategically, while still keeping my cool, and my paddling technique has also improved. There were about a half dozen of us out there, one friendly local catching every single one, but enough room between us all that we could catch without fear of getting in eachothers’ way.

Lucky for me, today was my day, for fear dissipated into FUN when I was able to catch about 5 or 6 good waves close together. During those few rides in to shore, I could almost have “wheeeeeee’d” but I thought I’d better concentrate on balancing and not going headfirst onto the rock bottom.  The icing on the cake was that Josh and I picked our last wave and road it all the way into the beach together. That never happens.  Normally, we end up paddling most of the way in and half catching a few good pushes from the smaller waves near the shore. That’s after waiting for a good set and none are to be found, so in we paddle, then you get to shore and the waves return. Good grief. Finally I came out of the water with a smile on my face, instead of a look of defeat and frustration.

Perhaps with another good ride this week, I’ll feel better about this sport that has taken so long to enjoy. At least now I feel like… I think… I know what I’m supposed to be doing out there. We’ll see.

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