I need to go surf, really, I do! It’s been what, four weeks since the last time I’ve been tossed around like a sack of bones in my very tight wetsuit and gigantic board, thanks to the Moms on Board initiative sponsored by Lifestyle Surf.
I’ve been invited out a few times now to go surf. “Let’s meet up before work, you can rent a board and wetsuit at Roxy’s”, “we are going out on Friday, but you will have to rent the board and wetsuit, it’s about R100/hour”, “let’s go surf, you don’t need a wetsuit, just bring your costume – you can get the board at Roxy’s for R50…” – tempting invitations, what I wouldn’t give to just say “yeah sure, count me in” or “yes and let’s have a coffee afterwards and work on our stakeholder engagement strategy…”
For some of us, surfing really is a luxury. I will never forget the chat I had with my son when I told him, before bedtime, about my very first surfing lesson. I said to him “it was so absolutely awesome, if work isn’t too hectic then I will go every Tuesday morning and once your swimming improves then you can also learn to surf with me”. I explained to him that I can only go on a Tuesday, because this is the day when mom’s are sponsored and don’t have to pay to rent a wetsuit or surfboard. He looked at me with great excitement. “But mommy, you know who you can ask for a surfboard.” “Who?” “You can ask my dad silly, you know he has lots of surfboards!”… You have to appreciate the innocence of a child.
I looked at his sweet face, beaming with excitement, and said “yes, your dad is a really good surfer, but his boards are way too short for me to learn to surf, but you are right, one day when we see him then I will ask him”. Phew! Thankfully he was happy with this answer and agreed that we can also try to save up for surfboards once we can both surf really well (which I doubt will happen anytime soon).
Not everyone is ready to be a dad, even though they may start out thinking that they are…
Anyway, let me not get sidetracked!
I need to go surf, the point that I am trying to make is that I really need to go surf!!! BUT work has been so flippen busy, that my early Tuesday morning surf lesson is not going to happen for the next month or so!
It would be so easy to say, “to hell with it! I’m going to pay for a month’s rental AND lessons (to make sure I don’t drown out there) and go out before work in the mornings or afternoon”, but reality is that there is no such luxury. When you become a parent, your priorities change. Rent, speech therapy, occupational therapy, school fees, educational policies, insurance and hospital bills (in that order). There is no room for the “nice to have’s”.
So every day I look at all the surfers and often I see children learn to surf through outreach programmes and I am so happy that they have the opportunity to experience something that really opens them up to a different world…there is, in my opinion, no greater sense of freedom than standing up on a surfboard, carried by a wave…an experience that’s been eluding me since I keep falling off the board!
For years I spent hours on the beach, watching the sheer joy of surfers paddling out and catching big waves at Witsands, Dunes, Crayfish Factory, 365, The Ledge, Misty’s, Sunset, Barkleys, etc. sitting around bond fires listening to the chatter of “that left was epic”, watching the excitement on their faces as they sat on the beach waiting for the sets to come through, waiting for the tide to come in – hardcore surfers, chasing the waves from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, like you can only do in the South Peninsula/Cape Town – how blessed are these surfers to be spoilt for choice! I remember these surfers’, not keen to surf at the Corner, those are for beginners – no power in the wave, too crowded…yes…the beginners’ wave…
Now I’m the one craving to ride that beginner’s wave…don’t think I’ll ever be brave enough to go “wave hunting”, but flip – I can’t wait for my next surf experience! I really, really, really need to go surf!