I have read a lot of articles recently about life lessons that you can learn from surfing. Each one has a different take on it and it will vary from person to person, but one thing I haven’t come across and is the biggest thing that I have found is how much you learn about yourself.
I have discovered things about myself that I didn’t know existed. It has brought elements of my personality to the surface that looking back were probably there all along, but they just needed a little encouragement along the way.
Like my love of the water – despite the fact that I was never what would you call a water baby and not even daring to dip a toe in the sea until 5 years ago.
This love has always been there and water has a very calming influence on me, whether I’m taking a walk along the canal or just floating on my back in a swimming pool. I just love being near and in the water. I can stare at the sea for hours and feel hypnotised by its beauty and raw power. I have also been known to cry at the first sight of it when arriving in Devon or Cornwall. It takes my breath away, makes me feel exhilarated and I come to life when I’m surfing and am totally immersed in the ocean.
Being in the water is the one and only place where I can completely empty my mind and totally switch off.
Surfing has taught me to be open minded, explore possibilities and find new ways to ride ocean waves and in-land waters. It has taught me that I can still enjoy being in the water whilst I’m landlocked and has introduced me to new water activities like stand up paddle boarding and wakeboarding. There are so many more possibilities out there and I want to try as many of them as I can.
But above all, surfing has taught me to be patient and not give up which flies in the face of how I usually handle things that I’m not very good at, which is to give up. I have discovered strength I didn’t know that I had (both physically and mentally) having stuck at an intensive training programme for the past 8 months, and pushing myself to surf in howling onshore winds and driving rain when most people choose to shelter indoors.
I have faced some fears and done it anyway and I’m proud of what I have achieved.
The beauty of this lesson is that it’s never ending. I’m still learning and I’m excited for what comes next.