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  • In the Words of Eleanor Roosevelt - Go Surfing
  • Sumner Smith
  • funlife

In the Words of Eleanor Roosevelt - Go Surfing

This weekend I did something I've wanted to do forever - I went surfing.  We were at Folly Beach (my favorite beach, and incidentally the place to surf in South Carolina), and there were surf schools everywhere, and we did it.  But here's the weird thing - I've wanted to try surfing forever.  But I never did, and I'm not sure why.  For some reason it seemed kind of intimidating - like the barrier to trying it was too big.  And that's weird, because I'm not usually someone who gets too wrapped up in that sort of thing.  I've raced mountain bikes, ridden a mountain unicycle, done ocean water swim triathlons, and galloped many horses over many, many cross country jumps.  But surfing... I couldn't quite get my head around it.  Partly it's a practical consideration - I don't go to the ocean often enough to really understand it, and I don't love to mess with things I don't understand.  I grew up in the mountains - I get the mountains.  Like, when people fall off a waterfall (which happens around here more than you'd think), the people who grew up here feel terrible for them, but we also wonder why on earth they were at the top of a waterfall.  It's really slippery, and a lot of current, and even when you think you're a safe distance from the edge you aren't.  So I didn't want to be that person at the ocean - the one doing something that was obviously not a good idea if you knew what you were doing, but maybe wasn't so obvious if you didn't grow up there.  

But that's a problem that's easily solved by taking lessons, right?  I mean, the whole point of taking lessons, in addition to teaching you the skill, is to save you from yourself.  And so on this trip, it finally seemed like not an insurmountable thing to try surfing.  Possibly that was partly because Sam is old enough now to want to try it too, and Clark was a somewhat bemused but willing participant also, and so we decided to take a lesson together.  And it was - crazy fun.  Like, crazy fun.  The kind of fun where all the way home Sam suggested increasingly-more-frequent schedules for us to go back to the beach, and googled surf boards, and I social media stalked the surf school.

And there's an interesting lesson here, although I'm not quite sure what it is.  On the one hand - isn't it Eleanor Roosevelt that said you should do one thing every day that scares you?  Or Chrissie Wellington.  Or maybe they shared similar sentiments.  In any event I do believe that - if there's something you want to do but you're afraid of it then it's probably a sign that you need to figure it out.  But on the other hand - maybe the lesson is that the universe provides the right time for things, if you're listening.  Maybe a few years ago it wouldn't have been so great - Sam wouldn't have been so fired up about it, it wouldn't have had the promise of a family thing that it has now.    So maybe the lesson is in both of those things - don't ignore something you really want to do, but listen for the right time.  Or something like that.  

In any event, we're now all scheming how often we can return to Folly, and in the meantime if you're ever near there I highly recommend Shaka Surf School.  I knew this was going to be the right place when we started our lesson with yoga.  Hello.  And then we progressed into the ocean, and it felt like a tiny sliver of this whole new world opened up. Doesn't get better than that.

 

 

  • Sumner Smith
  • funlife

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