The other day I surfed perhaps the worst surf at Ponce Inlet that I have ever had the pleasure of trying to ride. It was a very “Un-Ponce” like day. Breaking close to shore and too many close outs.

My buddy Jessie was out on his Firewire and he was gliding across the garbage like an ice-cube skipping over a tiled floor. I was struggling. After every wave, I looked down at my poor sad board. It seemed to be saying to me…”Master! I am old. Why are you still forcing me to ride this?”

My poor board had lost its pop.

But I had to ride the poor board because it was my only choice. I too was tired. Drained from sleepless nights. Stressed. My pop was waning as well. I could have given up on this poor day but I stayed even when the crowd had left. I was not giving up.

Life is about overcoming struggles. Even when the “pop” is gone. When the crowds have left. When the wind is picking up. The current pulls you down the beach. At the end of the day, I finally hooked into a long right and pulled off several crisp turns. I rode in and called it a day.

Today I got over another major struggle. After a year and a half of unemployment, someone stepped up and offered me a job. It seems almost insane to believe that a person who has talent writing, has a vast experience with customer service, and many friends in the entertainment industry could not find a simple job to get off of the unemployment bandwagon but it is true. I was just a statistic in the war on unemployment. Stuck in some odd nether region of being homeless or being back in the workforce.

So what gets a person through such hard times? The most obvious was my wonderful family. My sister and her family supported me and my poor fiancé was trying to encourage me every day. I owe all my friends who stepped up a lot along with my family.

There was one small thing that really helped me and it was very unexpected. That was this blog, The Side Wedge. On some days, I was insane with boredom and writing gave me a release. Then I discovered that WordPress is not a one way street. I began to read other people’s blogs and many contained stories that gave me a laugh and others were filled the author’s own struggles that I used for my motivation. I enjoyed the work out tips and I have to say that I am now around 12 pounds lighter than before the lay offs. So although there has been intense struggles, I have still grown as a person and not given up.

For a long time, I was paddling against a raging torrent of water. I could not even afford to upgrade my account to add videos. All I could do was just put up simple pictures and try to provide worthwhile content. Now I finally have found a shoulder to take off on and ride! The future seems bright again. I can upgrade my site to provide better content. I can finally return to places like Brazil and add some travel stories. I can finally glide along past Jessie on a board with some pop.

Thanks to everyone who drops by my site!


About 1stpeaksteve

Welcome to The Side Wedge! The Side Wedge is a product of the journey through life of Steve Zima. Former professional surfer, a writer, surf coach, and hospitality manager. This is a collection of travel tips, motivation, and stories from my past. Finally, I offer surf coaching through The Side Wedge. Please feel free to contact me with questions if you want to improve your performance today! Thanks for reading!
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3 Responses to Pop!

  1. mulletkiller says:

    Nice Ride Man, Nice Ride

  2. Vic says:

    Great read! I’m really enjoying the content here. Keep up the great work. Congrats on the job!!!

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