Throughout my life, there has been one constant and that is the ocean.
As a toddler, my father would drive us out to Waianae or we would play along the shores of Ewa Beach. During the winter months, my family would load up in the car and I would run along the shoreline as men in jerseys strolled past me getting ready for their heats in the Duke Contest.
Years later, the bus would plod along Ft. Weaver road. I would grip my books and scan to see how big the lines of whitewater were breaking out on the reefs.
Now I do not live as close but I have always used my location as a way to surf the best spots. If the swell is not good up north of Cape Canaveral, I head to more protected spots south of the cape. This relationship has always worked. Well, until the past few years.
These days I seem to be suffering from the same syndrome that is plaguing Kelly Slater. A disconnect from mother ocean. For us, we have seen so many magic tricks from Kelly that this season we watch in disbelief as the clock runs out and the magic ten point ride never happens. A lot of times nothing comes at all! We just watch 3 minutes run off the clock with Kelly wondering why the sea has turned a blind eye to him.
On my end, it seems to be the same out of sync feeling. Flat days on my day out of work. Doctors appointments and family visits on the decent days coupled with added work hours and emergency meetings. All have affected my flow and even have thrown off my posting on my blog.
Ebb and Flow
I really enjoyed reading The Legacy of Stoke.
The surfers are completely different. They were introduced into surfing through various ways and for various reasons. Many have used surfing as a way to get beyond some major struggles.
My story in print.
I am biased towards surfing. It would be easy to say the book is all about how surfing will magically transform even the most shoddy life and how surfing will lead one to a major awakening.
Sadly, I know far to many surfers who are struggling with addictions or whom have had other issues that made them turn their backs on the ocean and surfing.
To me, Legacy of Stoke, on the surface is a story about the magic of surfing. But the more important theme that runs through the book like a current is about finding a passion and committing to it. Even through the ups and downs of life. Through the rise and falls of the tides. Through the sun rises and sunsets. We will always have ups and downs and we may feel out of sync but things will turn around if you approach life with passion. In fact, having a feeling of stoke will help you forge through the times when things are not working out instead of dwelling on the negativity.
That is why it is important to share this joy. By sharing your passion with someone else in a physical way such as being a mentor seems to be the obvious way. However, not everyone in the book took others out and taught them to surf. Their stories alone can have the power of helping.
We live in a world where friends sit 5 feet from each other and barely break their gaze from their computers and hand-held devices. Being engaged and passionate is needed now more than ever.
Finally, after reading Legacy of Stoke and reflecting on the content; I also came away with this. Two of the authors were professional surfers. Both have traveled the world and experienced many different kinds of waves. Yet, everyone featured has a passion for surfing.
Some days I paddle out and the waves are up to my knees. Even though it is twenty-five feet less than the biggest waves that I have tackled; I still enjoy myself. Not everyone is going to be an elite level participant. This should not diminish the importance of a persons experience.
Whether your goal is to be singing at a local bar or to be a better parent; one does not have to be an expert to enjoy the experience. Sure it is nice to go to Disney with the family but the reality is your child just wants you to be there. Even if it is playing a board game at home. Just as a surf at the closest beach is just as satisfying as a surf trip to Kirra.
And that is also why I believe that both myself and Kelly Slater will get our mojo back. Our positive attitude will get us beyond our lows until things flow in another direction.
As for Legacy of Stoke, pick up a copy from Amazon and get engaged.
And…I also still give surfing lessons!