A Few Steps Forward


A few days ago, I was at work counting down for the best moment to make my departure. The swell from the hurricanes was waning and I wanted to get in a few last drops of what energy was left. After changing, I hurried down to the closest main surf beach in my area which also happens to be by far one of the most fickle and is also prone to being the worst in the area.

I got out of my car and hurried down to the crowd of people playing volleyball and laying on towels. The wind blew in short bursts at my face and rock music blared from a bar on the pier. The surf was extremely poor. Small choplets broke in a confused series towards the shore. The sun was quickly setting. I had to paddle out.

Like everyone, you reach one of those points. Am I satisfied with how things are going? Is my employment giving me the fulfillment I think I deserve? What can I be doing to be better?

The past few sessions during the hurricane surf gave me hope.

A few turns that were sharp and impactful. Some linked up rides. A well set up barrel.

And a few that pointed out what I needed to work on.

A ride that I found every turn to be a bit to late and behind the section. I noticed that I was not doing enough floaters and pumping as wide as I should have as well. And one ramp that I hit to late. So I need to get into the lip earlier and do more rail work instead of just a late end move.

So I waded into the turbulent water. The only adult foolish enough to go in. The only adult who knows that surfing poor waves is the key to improvement. Even if every wave is a struggle to complete, there is a chance to work on something.

When I came in and made my way through the crowd, a woman stopped me. She was from Canada. She said that her daughter saw me surf and wanted to try it during the vacation and asked if I wanted to give lessons. At that moment, the answer was clearly no. My soft top had a damaged fin. I had to work the next day. And at that moment, I had only my tiny shortboard which she would not find easy to try on. So I had to direct her to a friend who gives surf lessons.

That moment did make me think.

There are other avenues in life. I can still compete at some level even if for fun. I can still coach and work harder to make that a reality. Write. The list goes on and on.

I just have to leave the predictable and monotony of the routine and step into the unknown. No matter the conditions or the time.




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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4 Responses to A Few Steps Forward

  1. Great thoughts …
    Interesting post.

  2. It’s similar to a musicians life I have friends who have to teach to eat but then competing gets difficult because you’re committed to teaching.

    • 1stpeaksteve says:

      Very true! Shows why in the big picture one should not let one thing (a job, a relationship) run their whole life. If you are working 12 hours a day then you are probably doing something wrong. Sadly, I know this by experience. You have to be able to do other things or you are really not living.

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