Thursday, July 30, 2009

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?

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