A few weeks ago I had a close friend stay with me for his week away. He studied most of the week while I worked but we made sure to spend all our remaining hours together. On the very last day of our time of rowing, hiking, surfing and learning to play cheesy songs, we decided to go to the beach one last time. The weather was in no way pleasant and the waves were choppy, but I was just so keen to go to the ocean for my first time taking a wave-ski out to sea.
The wave-ski belonged to a friend of mine who lent it to me because she barely uses it, so I’ve been getting the hang of it in the canals nearby my house. So I had this crazy idea to try and catch some waves with it. Technically it’s not crazy because that is what it’s made for, but then again it’s made for women and the the ocean was not favourable for a rookie.
My friend jumped in with his board while I tried to figure out how to maintain my balance in the water. It was a lot different to the peaceful canals than the ocean. After a few attempts of falling off I reluctantly put the strap around my waist to keep me on the wave-ski. It was a struggle to get it on while the waves kept pushing me so once I did get that strap on I rowed like the wind. I was surprised to see myself finally making it to the spot my friend was. At that point I just wanted to rest.
There was not much to mention about the landscape except that it was not peaceful, we had to fight to keep ourselves in the same spot. I did eventually get restless and caught a wave that took me straight to shore. That was a great feeling. I thought then that I could get into this, I could be a regular.
But pride comes before a fall.
What I didn’t realise though in the moment was that while I made it to the shore my rear fin came off due to it digging deep into the sand. I remember my other friend telling me she broke a fin doing more or less the same thing and I thought that was preposterous.
You should have seen the surprise on my face seeing the fin split in half.
So without realizing the fin to be broken I pushed on, but this time I really struggled. Even the small waves pushed me over. I can’t put all the blame on the fin but it didn’t make life easier. After being tipped over and over again and seeing my friend catching some waves with ease I had a moment of surrender. But that didn’t last long, I knew I could carry on, at least catch one decent wave.
After many failed attempts I finally made it to the spot again. It was a good feeling to see the surprise on my friends face realizing I made it back. About a minute or two later my friend caught a wave and I was left to hang alone in the rough waves. I was getting restless so I caught the next wave I could see, which obviously had to be large.
The thing about rowing and surfing is you can’t ride the way you catch a wave on a wave-ski.
I learned that the hard way.
As the wave was nearing it’s breaking point I reached the crest and rowed to maintain a good speed. I was in the right spot and had enough momentum to catch that wave and once I did I pretty much fell off with my shoulder going the other way.
It was painful. And to top it all off, I was in the middle of a set, which if you don’t know would be a bunch of waves right after each other at a larger size than regular, so I struggled. I even called for help but being the joker that I am he didn’t take me serious. For a moment I felt like the boy who cried wolf.
He did come to my rescue and walking back home was a certain delight for me (that’s me being sarcastic again).
The following week my life group spoke about a resource given to us about how we should move forward when we feel suck. Some of us brought up different stories of them being put into situations where they felt stuck. I felt that I had a more literal situation, but decided not to share as I wasn’t too familiar with the crowd at the time.
The message tied in greatly with how I came to get out of my ‘stuckness’ in that wave-ski. I was pushed underwater and with only one arm nearly unable to twist myself more than 90 degrees as the strap was tightly fitted around my waist.
It was a few seconds before I realised how simple the solution was. After a few seconds underwater attempting a nearly impossible task I loosened the strap, stuck my head above the water and took a breath of relief. The rest was pretty much a blur but I have to thank my dear friend for rescuing me. Thanks man!
Sometimes in life all you need to do is take a deep breath, assess the situation and not freak out, because that’s how you get stuck and remain that way.
P.S – If you’re underwater ignore the first step and just take a mental breath of oxygen.