A few weeks ago, I submitted some of my blogs to Zigzag to consider for their “Write to Surf”, surf journo competition. Not because I want to travel the world and write about the stoke of the ocean. No, because I love to write, and felt that if a surf mag finds my surfing articles good enough to share on their website, then it validates my ability as a “surf” writer! An achievement for me, since I’m still learning to surf, even though I spent many years as an inside observer…
Stoked in Silence
“Oh no, no, no, no! ‘It’s’ coming at me, ‘it’s’ speeding up! Please wipe-out, please wipe-out!” That was the mantra in my head as I watched a figure on a wave heading right at me! My vision a blur of water and figurines. Unable to judge distance, size or differentiate between surfboard and person.
Watching ‘it’ fall into the water, my heart rejoiced! “Yes! No one whacked me on the head with their surfboard today,” I thought to myself. Internally gleeful with the joy of surviving an altercation with a board, as I watched ‘it’ surface from the ocean floor, long hair plastered to her face, I realised ‘it’ is my friend, a fellow volunteer, Nicole!
My golly can she surf! Caught a wave all the way from the backline, steady and sleek. I had so much I wanted to say – albeit, not the part where I wished her a wipe-out! Darn, blurry vision sucks when I’m learning to fall off my board with more grace than I did the last time!
Turning to face Nicole, water dripping from our nostrils as we stood in waist deep water. Big smiles on our faces, her stoke infectious! Gosh, we had lots of catching up to do.
Instead, I stood, feeling awkward, ’cause Nicole is deaf. Without her cochlear implant she can’t hear me. I became self-conscious, I had no clue whether or not she could read my lips, especially since I struggled to zoom in on her facial expressions, with my specs in my bag, and her cochlear locked away safely.
Under the water I fumbled with my hands, I talked to Nicole, she motioned to her ears, I signalled with my hands while saying, “Great seeing you! I have to get back to the office, so I’m heading in”.
PS: September is Deaf Awareness Month.
Please click here to read my full article submitted to ZigZag, which was published yesterday, 10 September 2015.