"Paddle! Paddle! Paddle! Now stand up," my surf instructor yelled. I put my right foot on the board, then my left in front. I found my balance for a few seconds and then splash I was in the water. I jumped back on my soft yellow surfboard and paddled hard pushing against the surfboard to lift over the white-crested waves that battered against me. On a surfboard the waves looked much bigger than they did from the beach. I turned my board towards my instructor but before I could make it to him a wave lifted my board and I rushed forward. "Stand up," he yelled. And suddenly I was taking my first wave without help and riding it close to the beach.
Exhilarated I rushed back out. "Who needs an instructor," he said. "I think you've graduated." Unfortunately, it was beginners luck and I still needed some help. Wave after wave I stood only to fall before I made it back to the beach. Each time I paddled back to the instructor who explained what I had done wrong. "Put your back leg up a little further on the board, move your hands back, when you step with your front leg let go with your hands at the same time, look at the beach not at the ocean." I struggled to remember his instruction as I paddled with the next wave.
Then it happened - all the knowledge aligned and I took a wave just right. I couldn't believe it but it felt like flying. I could feel the wave lifting me as if I floated above the water. All the places I've looked for flight: hang gliding, skating, skydiving, flying an airplane and here I was finding it in the ocean.
At that moment I found a new addiction - surfing. The question now is how I'm going to find the time to fit another sport into my life, but it has to happen. I need to feel that rush more than once in my life.
This journey has made my life so big I think I now need six of me to live it all - but what a wonderful problem to have.