Friday, July 31, 2009

My Killer Deal! My first surf related purchase! My second skin for the next couple of months!

Surfing Today

I must say I was a bit disappointed..not discouraged, but disappointed today. Did not stand, well I guess once...kind of. My pop up leaves a lot to be desired. I am slow. Also the surf was sooooo crowded. I can't wait to get my own board...(soon young grasshopper soon!), then I won't have to surf at crowded Blackies in Newport. ugggg. Seemed like a lot of old experienced long boarders were out.. but I have to say the tween's and those speed boards dominated. I feel so embarrassed to see the 10year boy whiz by me like he came out of the womb with a surfboard in tow. Yet here I am struggling to catch a wave... let alone stand. Not to mention this is the first time I brought my husband to watch me,, who told me I really sucked. I was great, thanks for the support honey. Now let me see you try this???? This really was not one of my better attempts at this sport. I guess you have your on days and your off!

If it sounds like I am complaining .... I am not. Two things.. (First) I am getting better, I see improvement in some things. Also there was a lady out there today who was a mom, maybe could be a grandma. She said she has been doing this for three years. I felt our surf ability was in the same ballpark.. I never saw her stand. She did catch a wave or two, and she kneed it. I kneed it a few times to, when I could get a wave.
(Second) A bad day surfing is better than not surfing. I was still in the water, still able to work on paddling, sitting on a board, watch the people who are popping up, and learning to judge the surf. Just watching and learning in general.
I was in the water for about an hour... I didn't feel like I was getting tired. It was really just too crowded. I don't think the last couple of times it was that crowded, and the surf in general was not so great. Last time I went out aabout a week ago last Wed. Surf was so much better. Right before the Big Swell. Some things seemed easier to me catching a wave.

Well it was only my 4th time out.. I don't know if I am on track or not. It would be nice if someone could tell me this.

But I do have some good news... my friend, surf teacher, and all around great person, Natalie. Called me last night to tell me she found a killer deal on a spring suit, my size. So today, after surfing, went to the store, found it, tried it on, bought it. My first suite. Ya is last years model.. or something like that, but I don't care, it is still brand new, Body Glove and was 40% off. Got it for under $50... Who's complaining.. not me.. I am stoked.. That made my day.

Next my own board...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My first wave

So I forgot to post a picture of my first time surfing.. this is my first wave, after the pearling experience! I look so scared!!.. That is Natalie in the background..she looks so proud!

My First Time Surfing

So as promised.. here is my blog about my very first surfing experience!!

Natalie said she would teach me and we made plans for Friday July 17th to meet at 8:30 AM.

As I announce this to my friends...I get so many responses..from there are sharks in the water, you could drown, or the surfboard will hit you on the head and knock you out..(Ha to them...started off on a foam board..but it did hit me in the head), to do you have your Dr. on speed dial and do they have a room ready for you at the hospital.(I am known for my accident prowess) I also was told Giant squid are here.. (which was true, my husband is a fisherman, and that was rather exciting news for the fishing community)...not so much for a first time surfer, who was already feeling the anxiety of everything that could go wrong, build inside of her.

Regardless, you only live once and I was going to do this.. I always wanted to and if something was going to happen to me.. well I guess it would happen to me anyway if I was or was not on a surfboard in the ocean.
I was so excited I seriously could not sleep the night before. I felt like a kid going to Disneyland..Really I am going to go!!

Now it is Friday July 17th.. and I am leaving my house at 7:30, traffic on the freeway is horrible and I would hit morning traffic. I get to Natalie's house exactly at 8:30 AM..may have been 2 minutes early actually. She was on her patio at her beach house waiting for me. I pick her up and we proceed to go a few blocks and attempt to look for a free parking spot. We Scored, 24th street I believe.
So we walk to the pier, and Natalie shows me where I am going to rent the board and my wet suit. She looks at the water and says this is what is called flat. I saw a few little 1/2 ft. waves, and wondered wow how am I going to learn to surf on that?
We wait for the place to open.. and I am so anxious. I thought I may lose my breakfast. I ate lite just in case.
Place opens I get a full suit, and a bright yellow 9' foam board. (screaming beginner on the beach, Look at me,i am sure). But I didn't care I was feeling good and I had Natalie.

So we head to the sand..Natalie taught me how to carry the monster of a board (which if I did not exercise somewhat I would not be able to do, it was heavy and akward.)
She lays the board on the sand and proceeds to explain some things to me. What each part of the board is called and the front of the board is like stepping on the gas, and the back is like the brakes.
Explains the different type of surfboard and what they do and why it is best to start with a foam board and a 9' board. Then she shows me how to lay on the board, body placement and feet, and where my hands should be, especially where they should be when I catch a wave and pop.
She tells me to get on the board and try it.. on the sand.. and starts with paddle paddle paddle, and then pop up.. I try it and first words out of Natalie's mouth are you already fell off the board. HAHA. I apparently took to long. (good thing I was only on sand)!
So after my "land lesson", I get to put my full wetsuit on. OK, so putting a wetsuit on...not as easy as one may think.. like putting on a second rubber skin. (even though my rental was a bit big on me).
We or should say I pick up my board and we head to the water. She asks to pretend the board is a skate board and what would be my lead foot? So I attach the leash to the opposite foot.

Entering the water. it was cold , but very clean and there were a few people out and Natalie pointed out how many people besides me were beginners. So I did not feel so bad.
Well I learn how to take my board out over those little waves,that did not seem so little with my huge surfboard. I tried carrying it over my head, I think I almost knocked Natalie down trying to carrying the board and not get knocked over by the whole 1' waves if they were even that. Then I dragged my board backwards over the waves while keeping my hand and pressure on the tail.
So I get on the board in the water and... I fall off the board. It is much different than you think, just trying to balance on the board laying down was a lesson in itself. I learn my placement and get a few instructions and Natalie pushed me into a wave. WOW fun.. I'm riding a wave like a boogie board.. wait.. what???? aaagghh I go forward,and end up with a mouthful of sand, salt water in my eyes, down my throat and the board is on top of me. I did not position myself properly, and I went nose first into the sand... also known as pearling.. well I had my lil white wash.. I could not imagine doing that on a wave and falling down.. which apparently happens to the best of surfers. Note...Pearling not fun!!!

So I get my board and try again...again and again, no I did not get deferred, I was persistent. This is with Natalie pushing me into the waves,I have not even caught my own wave yet. But..during this time I did stand, for a millisecond and more than once. Then One time I actually stood and was on, and as soon as I realized oh my I am up and surfing.. I was off ...but that one less than a minute..that one wonderful amazing moment in time.... Was the best, most liberating, freeing unexplainable feeling.

Natalie said people usually don't stand on their first lesson, even for a millisecond. She was so proud of me and said I took direction very well and I impressed her. I was doing good. I impressed myself. I finally started learning how to catch a wave..and I kneed it, but catching my own waves, I never could stand again. I was getting worn and tired and I didn't have much sleep the night before. I really didn't want to stop.. but my body said enough lets rest we went in..then my daughter had to try. 12 years old, second try and she rode the wave into shore..and her third - eighth time.. "whatever"!!!!!

This was my time, this was about me.. and I was so Happy,, I was on a surfer high. I was happy, euphoric, and tired and,.... starving.. I could not believe how Hungry I was. WOW. We were out there for about 2 hours. It really didn't seem like it.. but it was.
Well I was very sore and tired. When I got home, I took a long soak in an Epsom salt bath, Rubbed my Absorbing Jr. on me, took some Advil.. and rested the rest of the day.
But..all I could do was think and talk about my first day surfing. I was on "wave 9" still am actually.
I just could not wait till I could get back in the water....and you know what I had 6days of work.. and even though every muscle in my body hurt. I went surfing every other day, 3 days in one week. I went without Natalie, but I just practice everything she taught me, and kept going over and over it. Especially paddling, and catching waves. I never did stand again.. but I know I was pushing it and not giving my self time to really rest.(Not to mention my bad back.) I know I will, it will take time. I have heart and am strong willed. I didnt want my days off to end, I knew I had 8 staight days to work days ahead of me. I was not happy about that.

All I could do was count the days until I had a day off to go again..
you know what? That day is tomorrow. Guess where I'll be?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Well I know a lot of people want to know why surfing, and why now? I am sure they want to hear about my time on the water too.. (Right now..not too much to report.) Just learning you know.. but gotta start somewhere.( my next blog will be about my first week of surfing)..this is about WHY!!!!

Well I have always wanted to surf...Grew up in the OC..was at the beach a lot. Was young tiny and cute...Probably would have easily been able to get a hot surfer to teach me. (hindsight) But there didn't seem to be as many girl surfers as there are today. It was the 80's. I did have friends who surfed and one actually offered to teach me ahem.. Tim, but I grew up in a "strict" to say the least house hold. So...I had to choose my free time wisely..and I don't know why I never chose to take Tim up on his surfing offer.hmmm???? maybe because I knew the people raising me wouldn't go for it.. I was not allowed to do anything. I would probably get beat if I touched a surf board..

Any ways what... a couple decades later here we are. Met a bunch of friends who surf and travel everywhere surfing. I am here still thinking about wow how much fun would it have been to learn to surf. I could probably keep up with a conversation with them if I ever bothered to learn (Did I mention these friends are all young and cute and look they probably been born surfing.)I feel A little out of place in my 40's.

Then I heard about a few women who started surfing in there 40's and 50's .. One lady I heard for her 50th birthday.. took surfing lessons.. I am not sure how long ago.. but still surfs every chance she gets. I assume she is at least 55 now. Anna (my therapist at the time) (don't judge,,I have seriously been through more than my fair share in this life)...was telling me about her and gave me encouragement.

Then I researched surfing schools last fall.. and read more articles on line about people and grandma's learning to surf.. I thought i am a grandma..could I really learn how to surf...and at my age?

So every now and then I joke I want to learn to surf..and at first my husband was uh huh... you never start and finish anything. yada yada yada.. you are too old.. Wait what, did he say.. I AM TOO OLD???? Oh no he didn't.I mean it was OK for me to think that.. but my husband to say it out loud??? Later he thought it would be cool if I "tried" surfing.

So I mentioned it to some friends (the young surfers I mentioned) & said I was thinking about taking surfing lessons. They said Natalie should teach me.. she is a teacher in general.. and good surfer... and she teaches people to surf all the time.
I have to admit I was a bit embarrassed. What if I make a fool of myself..& cute lil young Natalie, would want to be seen on the beach with middle aged, not in perfect shape, accident prone me? Wouldn't she be embarrassed?

Well come December (I have to mention this)..I got into a car accident.. a 17 year old ran a red light while we were turning on a green.... I saw the car coming straight at us, so I stiffened up and was twisted, watching the car hit us..I was the only one in our Tahoe who was injured.. Didn't realize it at the time.. but oh did I feel it the next couple of days.. and I still do. This was around Christmas time.. I was planning on taking surfing lessons in the spring,.,.I have to say after I got injured.. I was very disappointed thinking great I will never get to learn to surf.. not with this back.

Now it is July.. My back is still whacked..but is better. Physical therapy.. and some bike riding has helped a bit. Mind you anytime I do anything.. my back still is sore, I live on Epsom salt baths, salonpas patches, absorbing Jr., Icy Hot, and occasionally a muscle relaxer..(yes I feel and smell like a Senior Citizen) after the accident it was a lot of vicodin..yuck. Now, I try to manage my pain without meds.

Well, I thought I am not going to let this back injury get the best of me.. So I asked Natalie if she was serious about wanting to take me out. She was and we did.

I don't really know if it is like a midlife crisis....or if now my kids are older, and I have a bit more time for myself.. but I am starting to finally do things for me. Like this blog...and my new hobby surfing. I also am considering going back to school.. maybe just take some classes at a Jr. College.. after all I have 3 kids in college they can help me now ,well one is in the army and in college.... but shouldn't they be the ones doing this? Living their life.. LOL..but here I is like.. now is my turn. I was married and had kid after kid after kid.. right out of high school. I never had time for me.. or time to try things or people supporting me and encouraging me ..I was the one supporting everyone else. Now it is different...I am going to quote a Red Hot Chili Pepper song.. "This is my time this is my tier". blog.. my surfing experience and how it makes me feel!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why Blogging?

So I have decided to start a blog, why? Because one of the things I want to do is write. I have a lot to say. I get idea's and inspirations. yada yada yada ... and things come to me when I am getting ready for work, taking a bath, riding my bike or just cleaning my house.. and all of this while no children or husband is around. Very Zen like times when my mind gets to relax, which in my life seems very few and far between =-). I do find when things come to me, it is never when I have a pen or paper on hand, and have considered carrying around a tape recorder, like columnist or real writers do. But that also will not work when I am in the ocean on a surfboard..aaaah my new found love. (something I will blog about later).

What brings me here? Well, you know every women after they turn 40 decides " I want to write". " I have so much to give". SO where do they end up? Where do they start? On a blog of course.

My mind goes in so many different directions all the time, and so do my moods. (Although I think I've tamed my inner "Sybil") which will make this interesing, SO... I go a blogging.. are you entertained yet?

I assume someone out there is reading this. If that is the case, I guess I should tell you a bit about me. I will start simple.. I was born in January in the year 1967in Chicago Illinois, during a horrific snow storm, to a mom and dad, who I would end up never knowing....
Psych.... I really wont go that far back.. but that is all true.
Seriously My name is Michelle. I am a Mother of 5 and Grandmother of 1. I'm over 40 and love the great outdoors, getting to know and listen to people, out to save every animal, and I am obsessed with seahorses. I have a new hobby, (surfing), which I am becoming in love with. I told my sis I was bit by the surfing bug, she says it is more liked consumed. LOL.( wow sounds like I am applying for one of those dating sites)however I am married! I am a very unique individual, if I do say so myself. I love tradition, but yet seem to think outside the norm (notice I did not say box?)

I have finally come to the realization that at certain stages in your life, you try to be certain things to different people. Which sometimes makes you get lost and forget who you are, and you can't be true to yourself. Then you get to an age where you say to yourself "why in the H E double hockey sticks do I care what people think". Who are they to me? If they are someone to me, they would want and love me to be myself. If we are not true to ourselves, we are not living our purpose on this earth we were meant to.

Why am I telling you all this? What does this have to do with blogging? Well it brings me to why I am blogging, I want to write and express myself. I am putting myself and feelings out there for the world to see. I know I'm not going to impress or please everyone, with what my pen puts to paper or my fingers strike on the keyboard. But, at least I will be honest and put down what I feel and what I believe is true to me. It will be anything from what my day is like. To my experiences surfing, bike riding, camping, to when my grand baby does anything. What my beloved Chihuahua or any other member of my pack of dogs gets into. It even could be a new discovery I have found. (Like I have discovered using less expensive brands and getting the same results.)

I look forward to welcoming you all into the crazy world that is mine.

Welcome to the life of Michelle.....PS.. don't be afraid to leave a comment.

Very Random Very Brief

TA DA!! my first day blogging.. well I decided to make my first blog brief and a learning experiment. Try to figure this out.. plus I need to get ready for work..
All I got to say is great, what am I getting myself into? Now I will have 2 social networks to keep up with, 2 personal e-mails, and 1 work email, and not to mention my personal journal... NOW I have a blog.. When will I have time to surf, and hike and ride my bike, let alone actually work? My next blog will give an explanation at why I am taking a shot at this...and it is not just because I'm doing it because everyone else seems to be. haha....stay tuned!