Day 80 to Day 82: The Ocean Classroom
80/100 → There's a difference between being self-conscious and self-aware, and I thank surfing for teaching me that difference.
81/100 → After some two years of surfing, I am back to where it all started: the longboard.
I forget why it wasn't an instant connection. I had tried surfing on an 8'0" and a 7'2"-- anything but a 9'0". Shorter boards were all the rage; they were easier to pack and bring to bigger waves. Then came my custom shortboard and I forgot about longer boards for a while.
However, no matter where you are in your surfing life, you will come face to face with less than knee-high waves, and the longboard will be the only way to dance with the ocean. I've missed out on afternoons when the beach break would only have peelers, and I've nothing but my own stubborn earnestness to blame.
I cannot surf on a longboard. I can paddle and pop-up and be awkward. And I'll stay that way unless I try.
So I am finally trying. And I am falling back in love with the feeling of having the entire world in just 9 feet of board, and 2 feet of early morning glass. ♡
82/100 → Today was Monday and it was the first day of school. We saw everyone again: from seniors to freshmen, foreign exchange students, and transferees like us. The start of the new swell season deserved a perfect attendance. Crowded but fun. There was a solemn understanding, though unspoken, that life will always have a jubilant day like this-- the end of a long wait, and the beginning of another surf year in this proud little town. As I was paddling out, I saw everyone face the horizon as a set loomed in the distance. With flag ceremony-like reverence, surfers turned their boards and paddled forward. Thick clouds shielded us from heat. A very light breeze blew slightly side-shore. I'm glad I didn't miss it.