Surfing is an interesting sport. Riding the waves can be a scary thing, yet so many people are fascinated by it. It lends us so many analogies for „real“ life. Just like mastering surfing the waves of the ocean, surfing the waves of life is an art. Funny enough, you can often take what you learned from surfing and apply it as a learning to other parts of your life.

Here I was at the Atlantic Coast in Portugal, visiting my sister and her fiancé. They’re both much into surfing and took me along to teach me. Erik first showed me how to get up on the board while on the beach. He was impressed by how I managed to do it straight away. So, off we went into the water. It was a sandy beach and perfect beginner‘s waves came rolling in. Erik pushed me into the waves and gave me instructions when to get up.

In the water, I really struggled to get up. I knew it was in my head. I have this perception in my mind that getting to stand on a surfboard is a really hard thing to do. Knowing it was just in my mind, I found it even more frustrating that I didn’t manage. I would get the wave, feel it carrying me, and occasionally surf it on my knees, or even get up on both feet but standing crouched so as not to fall.

At some point, Erik said something to me that fully got me, because it is so applicable to other parts of my life.

„Julia,“ he said: „You go like 90%. You do all the hard work and then you keep crouched and you make it harder for yourself than it has to be. You aren’t committed 100% to standing up. All you gotta do is stand up.“

I often do the same in other parts of my life. I put a lot of effort into something, and then I fear falling, or failing, and so I don’t stand up 100%. I remain crouched in my safe spot and while I might not get hurt, I also don’t get to feel what it really is like to embrace the wave fully, enjoying it in all its (and my own) glory.

I wonder whether you know the same – be it from surfing or in other parts of your life? Are you committed 100% to standing up all the way?

Photo by Tim Marshall on unsplash.

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