Friday, October 30, 2009

Measuring waves Hawaiian Style

A friend and colleague called twice yesterday
from the north shore of Oahu. This is his first trip
to that magical, legendary place. For a surfer going
to Hawaii, and especially the north shore, is akin to making
holy pilgrimage, kind of like going to Mecca or Jerusalem.

The first call was filled with excitement, anticipation.
"The surf at Alligators looks huge to me" he said.
"Seems at least double overhead! I'm meeting Leeland
(his host and a north shore local) at his house and I guess
we'll surf." I could hear the anxiety in his voice. It was
almost as if he was wondering if he had to surf.

The second call was a bit different. "I survived!" he proudly
proclaimed. " Don't think I've ever gone so fast or surfed
waves so big in my life, I prayed I'd make each of the waves
I rode but I made it! Leeland said it was only 8'-10', not really
that big" my friend confessed. "It was pretty big to me, guess
it's that Hawaiian thing about measuring waves". "It's all
what you get used to, all in how you look at it".

Odd how a surf pilgrim surfing the north shore can make the
same observation as a client trying to put their stresses and
problems into perspective. Just the other day a patient in
my office commented that they believed that if all the people
with problems stood in a circle and threw their problems up
into the air you'd find people reaching to catch their own issues.
Seeing the problems some others have can help you measure
your own in a different way. To a north shore local 8'-10' foot
surf isn't really that big. To someone facing a life threatening
disease getting stressed over a traffic jam doesn't seem so
big. How do you measure waves and the problems you face?

No comments: