At the beginning of January, I made a pledge to surf every weekend during the winter months to progress a bit quicker and nail the elusive pop-up which has evaded me for several reasons since I started surfing.
Despite the cold, wind and my usual desire to hibernate at this time of year, so far I’m smashing that pledge!
Motivated by the fact that I now live 25 minutes from the coast, I’ve got no excuse not to get out there. On a couple of weekends I’ve surfed both days feeling energised and raring to go following my hot yoga class on a Saturday morning. It’s really set me up for the weekend ahead.
And I’m noticing subtle changes in my surfing – a little bit more flexibility, a little less backache after a session. That’s just after a few weeks of yoga so imagine the improvements as the months go by?
Baby steps…but quicker
As for the pop-up, well its early days, and I was never going to nail it in a month but I have stopped going to both knees and believe me, this is serious progress for someone whose had this bad habit from day one. I now go via one knee and have sped right up at getting to my feet.
If I’ve managed to do that after 4 weeks, there’s still hope for me yet I reckon!
I may may not be going hell for leather in the gym these days, but with 2 yoga sessions a week, practise at home and surfing, I have noticed a subtle difference in my stamina. It takes longer for me to reach the point of exhaustion and last weekend, I only paused for breath once on my way back to the car.
Sounds insignificant, but one of the breaks I’ve been surfing at has tons of steps up and down to the beach which are the last thing you want to be faced with after a 2 hour surf !
I’ve stuck to the same two breaks – a sheltered spot for when its windy and the other for the rare days lately when the wind clears off. I’ve got to know when they work best, what wind and swell direction they need and in the case of the sheltered spot which gets punchy and wedgy at high tide, the best time to get out!
I’ve learnt so much about surf forecasts and where to go in certain conditions in just a few weeks, so given time, I’m hoping I will know the coastline like the back of my hand.
Since moving here I’ve made friends with a fellow surf sister and her other half. We’ve pretty much met up every weekend and surfed together, shared tips, cheered each other on and seen progress all round. It’s super motivating to encourage each other to work towards our surf goals, especially as both J and I have the same target of nailing the pop-up!
Acknowledging what I’ve achieved
At the end of each yoga session, our teacher asks us to take time to acknowledge what we’ve achieved in class. I’m usually the one berating myself for not being able to do something and its a nasty habit I’ve had all my life.
So instead of beating myself up, I’m making an effort to put the negativity aside and not put any pressure on myself – this goes for the end of a surf session too. If I get out of the sea with a shoulda coulda attitude, it’s not going to set me up for the next one.
With surfing there’s no quick fix and I’ve known this all along. It takes patience, lots of practise and time so I will keep getting in, acknowledge what I can do and build on what I did during the previous surf.
For those of you who’ve seen the film Chasing Mavericks, I guess you could say I’m building one of my four pillars.
Above all, I will continue to have a blast doing what I love so much.