When doctors told me that I should probably quit surfing last year, I cried my eyes out like a high school boy who lost his first love. Never in a million years could I imagine giving up the one thing that brought the most joy in my life. But somehow, someway, I packed up my belongings and moved to West Hollywood to get away from the sight of the beach I adored so much.
That hiatus from the water has taught me a lot of valuable life long lessons. One of them being, there is always going to be something cool around the corner. Even if I was unable to surf another day in my life, I’d quickly find another hobby or activity that would fill the void. Being versatile and having many interests will almost always suit you well. Being open minded to new experiences will suit you even better.
During my time away from the beach I’ve experienced a plethora of new adventures. From doing stand up comedy to traveling to experiencing what it’s like to be a family man, it’s been quite the learning curve. I ventured so far out of my comfort zone and I wasn’t always on my A-Game. But life goes on, and you take another swing. You can’t win em all, nor would I want to. The agony of defeat is what propels me to get better and better each growing day.
Another thing that has been brewing in my head lately is how much things change. People change, the weather changes, the earth changes, laws change, politicians change, lovers change, and most importantly our opinions change.
It’s interesting to me that if a politician changes his stance on a topic, he’s referred to as a “Flip Flopper”. First of all, I hate that phrase because it gives a negative connotation to the best shoes ever invented. Secondly, aren’t we entitled to change our minds about things? Should we be so rigged in our beliefs that we don’t allow ourselves to flip flop now and then? New facts and experiences are constantly evolving and they shed new light on subjects that may require us to be a bit flexible in our decisions if we want healthy growth.
But most people don’t like change. They like routine, stability and being secure in most aspects of their life. Me, I’m a drifter, a gypsy, a vagabond who craves change like a drunk craves that first drop of booze on his tongue in the early afternoon. I’m addicted to new adventures and experiences. It seems like I can’t get enough.
And my latest experience has me grinning from ear to ear. This latest hobby is something that I previously was not a fan of. I was not eager to see this sport grow. In fact, I actually loathed seeing the popularity of this activity taking off like a rocket ship.
I’m talking about Stand Up Paddle boarding or SUP for short. The reason I didn’t like stand up paddlers is because I’m primarily a short boarder, which means I have to wait somewhat on the inside of the set waves to be in the best position to catch waves. SUP’s can catch the wave way on the outside. Now this isn’t that much of a problem because long boarders tend to do the same thing, but SUP’s make it happen a bit easier and tend to get more waves than the average long boarder. And this is where the problem lies… Stand Up Paddlers can totally hog the waves if they want. Most of them are chill and sharing, but it isn’t always the case.
The other thing that sketched me out about SUP’s is because the sport is growing so fast, there are a lot of rookies trying it out. Inevitably this creates a scenario where you have 9 to 12 foot pieces of fiberglass coming straight towards your head, and not always in full control mode.
Anyhow, despite my adverse feelings about Stand Up Paddling, it’s obvious the sport is not going to go away. People are in love with it. As time goes on, my opinions about SUP have altered dramatically. Mostly for selfish reasons. I want to get back in the water, and have a healthy back.
My biggest issue right now is building and strengthening my core muscles to support my L2 vertebrae in my back. It just so happens that Stand Up Paddling is one of the best core exercises you could ever find. Not only is it great exercise, but it puts me right back into my favorite place… “The Water”. Can you say win/win?
So my opinions have changed. SUP seems cool now. And it better because I just dropped a bunch of money on a new board and plan on getting another today. I got a 9 footer for playing in the ocean waves and surfing, and am shopping for a longer board that provides more stability for lakes, lagoons and rivers.
The first ride out onto Mission Bay was quite the episode. Since the board is only 9 feet it is considered very small in Stand Up Paddle land. It’s very wobbly when first stepping upon it. I mean, very wobbly. To make things harder on myself, I decided to venture onto the cold bay with nothing but board shorts. If I fell, it would cause me to be super cold! It was great motivation to stay on the board.
Thankfully, I made it. I’ve paddled 2 different sessions and have yet to fall. I came really close to biffing it a few times, but was able to regain my balance. Whew! However, I will fall many times in the future. Many many times. And it’s not just with surfing or stand up paddling. I know that I’m going to fall with many things in life and it’s not so much about the error or the tumble, but more about how I correct that error and get back up to try again.
Quitting sucks. I almost quit one of the most important things in my life the other day, and I’m really glad I didn’t. This thing has provided me with the most amazing life a guy could ever ask for and I was ready to just throw it in the trash and move on to something easier.
Want to know what I almost gave up?
Tune into the next blog post and I’ll let you know all about it. For now, I’m off for another paddle. Let’s see if I can make it 3 for 3 without falling.
PS: Here’s a pic snapped the moment I bought my new board! Big smiles 🙂
Jason Moffatt is a former private detective turned internet marketer who uses his skills of keen observation and deductive reasoning to pinpoint the easiest paths to success online. He’s passionate about helping entrepreneurs in the health & wellness field along with those in the personal development space. Jason believes we’re all a work in progress and that each day presents an opportunity to be a little be better than the last.