Surfing is my passion. It’s what I live for, and I am a better wife, mother, friend, and person after I spend time in the ocean. If you know someone who surfs — woman or man –you know how much happier they are after a surf session. Most of the time it’s easy to get out there, and you just can‘t wait — warm, clear water combined with scorching hot summer weather makes it so inviting. If the temperature is right, all you need is a swimsuit, rash guard and sunscreen and you can stay out all day.
However, we live in a coastal area that gets colder weather beginning in November. Air temperatures begin falling, and water temps are not nearly as inviting. Winter makes it really difficult to get yourself stoked to go surfing. However, you can surf throughout the entire winter if you have the right apparel – wetsuit, gloves, boots and a hood. We often get better waves in the fall and winter months, so it’s worth getting your gear on to catch even a few good waves when most people wouldn’t consider going in the water. I believe it’s more about desire and attitude. Even on the worst day, you still can have a great session — as long as you don’t talk yourself out of it first!
A few weeks ago we had some fun waves rolling in with warmer than average air temperatures for this time of the year. My husband and I were able to get away to surf, but by the time we arrived at the beach, a cold front had moved through our area which made the temperatures drop below 50 degrees, and the wind picked up to over 20 mph. Our enthusiasm quickly diminished, especially when we crossed the dune and saw a good swell become less than inviting.
At that point I easily could have talked myself out of surfing or allowed my husband to convince me it really wasn’t worth it — as he decided to go back to work. Instead, I told myself that I would regret not going out, even if the conditions weren’t the best. After all, I had a sitter for my two boys and some much needed time to myself.
After squeezing into all of my wetsuit gear, I paddled out into a lineup of quite a few people. As I sat there listening to everyone complain about how bad it was, how cold they were or that the waves were better earlier, I decided to tune everyone out and just enjoy this time to myself. As a mother, I welcome and appreciate every free minute I get, and surfing is my favorite way to spend time without my two awesome little boys around.
After catching a few waves, most of the other surfers began leaving the water, and soon it was just one of my girlfriends and me left. Within seconds of the last person leaving the beach, the wind died down almost completely; the water glassed off and the waves coming in were perfect:
A-frame, chest high, peeling walls of water that every surfer dreams of surfing — and they were all ours! We had so much fun out there and stayed until the sun went down. I remember one particular wave that I am still smiling about every time I think about it! Truly a memorable day!
I share this story because so many of us find ourselves in daily situations where we discourage ourselves and others from experiencing great opportunities. It’s so easy to talk ourselves out of doing something challenging or to complain to others so they become discouraged. Often it takes more effort to talk ourselves into doing something that could be better for us such as exercising, eating well, getting more sleep, or learning a new sport. Was it worth going surfing that day when no one else seemed to think so? You bet it was, and I know I will do it again…all winter long!