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Life Lessons in Surfing

Updated: Mar 10, 2020

"If you're having a bad day, catch a wave."

Surfing is probably one of the most liberating, intentional, core strength building, and exhilarating water sport I've ever tried. I signed up for surf lessons with WaveHuggers in Santa Monica. To be honest, I had a lot on my mind but I decided to redirect my energy into a book (12 Rules of Life by Jordan Peterson) and trying something new! Surfing requires extreme focus, being present in every moment, and COMMITMENT. During my session, we skipped the baby steps (thanks to yoga + ballet) and focused on tackling it all head-on. Pushing my limits. It was the furthest I’ve ever been away from shore and I'll admit, I still had moments of fear as I pushed further and further away. I was afraid of being lost at the shore and unable to find my way back. However, I used the power of my mind to release those thoughts and pulled in the idea that I could do this! I'm happy to announce that it worked! I successfully rode at least 6 waves and I enjoyed every minute of it! I let go and surrendered. Allowed my body and intentions to flow with the water and take me wherever it would like because I now knew that I will always find my way back home. I think it’s very important to stretch your limitations. You never know what you can accomplish until you try but it all starts with a belief that you can.

Life Lessons in Surfing

- - 1. COMMITMENT - Surfing is a very intuitive sport! When the wave comes, you find yourself having something similar to an adrenaline rush. Suddenly the world around you is blocked out and it's only you, your board, and the WAVE. When the wave comes, you cannot hesitate, think it through or freeze up! You have to make a quick decision if you're going to ride the next wave coming or simply miss it. If however, you choose to not make a decision you will get wiped out and left behind. There's no in-between. - - 2. RESILIENCE- Yes I “rode” a few waves but I also got knocked out by a lot of them. This happens at every level but you have to have the resilience to get back up and try again. Life will knock you down, break you into pieces and completely change your direction but you cannot GIVE UP. - - 3. BEING FULLY PRESENT - Distractions can be deadly in Surfing. There’s absolutely no way you could “worry” about your problems, to-do list or even your performance. All you have is right now and the wave (life) is not waiting for you. - - 4. MANAGE YOUR ENERGY - Working smart and not harder. You have to give yourself the space to breathe, regain your energy, and balance out the momentum. You cannot be too aggressive (or you’ll burn out easily) and you can’t be inhibited AT ALL. Somewhere in the middle will always win! - - 5. RELAX - In the beginning, I was tirelessly using all of my strength to attack the waves and paddle further. My feet were tightly held, core strength, shoulder tight and neck stiff every time a big wave would come. However, although this sport does require core strength and balance, it’s all mental. Just relax. Own the wave don’t let it own you. - - 6. THERE IS NO LUCK, ONLY PREPARATION MEETING OPPORTUNITY - The waves were choppy and the tide was getting higher because I started later in the day. My preparation with the big choppy waves allowed me to flow easier into the small/medium waves when the time came. If you always do what's easy you will never exceed your self-imposed limitations. - - 7. YOU HAVE TO COMMIT. You won’t catch a wave by staring at it!

What sport allows you to present, committed, and intentional? How does it relate to your daily life? Namaste, Chanel Michele


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