Life lessons from Learning to Surf


Learning to surf taught me some surprising life lessons, please share of you agree, or find it helpful.  These Summer holidays I have been totally committed to learning how to surf. It has always been on my to do list but I have never come so far as to actually buy a surf board and book in my lessons.

Since being diagnosed with cancer a little over a year ago my concept of commitment and also of doing things that I ‘want’ to do has changed. I no longer put things off thinking I’ll get to it some day. I’m more of an action Jackson these days; if I can, I will. Not on a weird heroic way, more in a appreciate the moment kind of way.

Mind you I am still very much in recovery mode from a year full of surgeries and treatment. I am still learning to be patient with both myself and my body. I just want to be well, and it does not work like that. Patience is a recurring theme 🙂

So today, the first lesson took place. I listened intently to the very fit, very tanned female instructor. She taught us how to be safe and what to expect. The waves were said to be perfect for beginners – Yay!

I got my long board and headed out into the big blue with my learners surf shirt on. The board is cumbersome and heavy in the waves. As I am trying to maneuver this bloody great board in the water I got to thinking. Learning to surf has many lessons about it that really relate to how you do life.

So what did I learn?

Respect the wave, it has so much power, you are merely going to be taken wherever it wants you to go unless you hit the sweet spot, the zone. Once you are there hang on!

Listen to your mentors, they are there to help, trust them and you will perform much better.

Watch out for people along the way, don’t run someone over while you are trying to achieve your own goals, there is etiquette.

Surf your own wave, the guy next to you will do it slightly differently, watch him, learn from him but you have your own race to run.

Love the process. Much of the day I was either dumped, sucking in salt water or waiting for the right wave. Enjoy the process that gets you to those magic moments of actually being on the wave screaming woo hoo!

It may not be graceful, but celebrate each win. I actually stood up a few times and then fell, but I got up. So much like in life, celebrate the small incremental wins that get you further along the journey.

So if there is something you really want to do but have not committed, just do it. Make the time, commit and get it done. As for me, I am resting today, icing my wounds and ready to get back out there tomorrow and tame that wave.

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.