on location

So, we are having a mini vacation in Tofino, where I went surfing with Ilya yesterday. It was so great! After the first attempt,which lasted about 15 minutes, I was so winded and a little uncomfortable in my wetsuit that I had to take a break and just breathe and get used to it. I thought I was going to puke I had swallowed so much saltwater and my arms were already tired from trying paddle past the break. but whatever, I went back out and finally caught a few waves, not standing up on a board, but just finding out how to catch them and ride them in and get momentum. It was quite the rush, the waves just push you along, which I suppose is the whole point. anyways, it was sweet. I got dumped a few times and tumbled around in the water like a rag doll, which is not that comfortable, but it felt very cleansing in a way. I can't really describe it, but it was amazing. I think I understand why people live to surf, but I think it would get old, kind of like snowboarding. and skateboarding. Now, mind you, those two sports evolved from surfing in the first place, and having skateboarded since I was like 5 (not learning tricks since then, but riding nonetheless) and snowboarded thoroughout my high school years, I always regarded the culture of surfing to be a cultural homeland of sorts that I never was able to get to, because it was just that cool and far away. That, and I thought wetsuits would still be cold. Surprisingly, if I had the strength, I could have stayed out there all day. I was pretty tired pretty quickly. anyways, I was not cold. Anyways, I finally made it to the storm surf shop in tofino, a place I had seen as a mecca. well, I am glad to have been there and done that and not bought the T-shirt, I think I had romanticized it quite a bit, and it was just another expensive store selling name brand skateboards, surf gear, and expensive jeans to people who want to buy an identity that is cooler than they really are. I used to be like that and now I am not. I struggle to continually have my identity in the right place, but I know it can't be bought, and I know that Storm, as cool as it is, is not who I am, nor who I want to become. Surfing is fun, and an amazing workout for the upper body (and I imagine if one gets up on the board, lower body too) but it's not an identity that can last.

that said,

Dear unnamed pro surfer:

your ability to ride waves is unparalleled, and its quite poetic to see the rise and fall being managed by a guy on a board, but why do you keep going back, day after day? Isn't it always the same, or even just a little bit different, and what is it about surfing that makes you keep going back, is it the admiration of fans, the girls that you ride with, or for, or the tan and the hair and the big sunglasses and baggy jeans.

I guess what I am realizing is that I see everything as good and can't imagine becoming so focused on one thing because it negates the possibility of all others. But I guess that is the reality of life. I think my enneagram says something about this. ah well.

Nonetheless, I am in Tofino, with my lovely wife, and we are enjoying the peaceful time. We are staying at a beautiful house that is in the process of being built, and our hosts are very generous and hospitable. It was dinner last night at shelter, a restaurant befitting a destination resort town like whistler, or apparently Tofino. This weekend there are a lot of students up here renting boards and hitting the waves. Its a good time. pictures to come.


RW said...

Back in the day, my husband was such a man - beckoned by the surf - but still a thinker none-the-less. I would love to take H and L and let them experience surfing. I think there must be an incredible sense of freedom.

I would love to try but, I don't think my back would survive.

Enjoy your days in Tofino.

Simply Victoria said...

yeah, (naomi's) ryan is an avid surfer. he spends as many weekends in tofino as he can. but you probably know that.
I've never been to tofino, but want to. like to try surfing. mebbe. there's a surf-sisters thing there I thought I'd like to try with avery, but I don't know if aves would be much into it. she isn't the sporty type. she'd probably rather build a big fire on the beach, wrap a hug quilt around her, and drink hot cider.
mmmm. acually, sounds pretty good to me too.

elizabeth said...

sounds nice. i would never be the surfing type, personally, but am glad you liked it! I am with V. RE: hot cider, though I would have hot chocolate with real milk... :)

glad you also know that your ID is not from what the select few advertisers who seek to define COOL.

have a wonderful rest of your mini-vacation with your beloved!

Widgetokos said...

Greg and I went surfing in Tofino on our honeymoon. We loved it! We would have done it the whole weekend if we could have afforded it. It was quite a rush. And I suck at sports, but it's not a sport exactly-- I mean it is, but it felt to me more like a game of catch-a-ride. If you miss it can suck and you can get hurt if you don't know what you're doing. But it was really fun.