Monday, January 3, 2011

Leif Engstrom's 540

If you haven't seen it you should check out
the "Punt of the Month" on Surfline. It's
a video of Leif Engstrom doing an amazing
snowboardlike 540 on a wave in Puerto Rico.
It's not just an amazing feat, to me it symbolizes
a number of interesting observations and lessons for
the new year.

Leif didn't just paddle out and do his 540. I've seen
him try and try to pull it off many times. He is tenacious.
His persistence is really something to behold. A
great lesson for us all. Keep at it, keep trying to accomplish
the things that are important to you. Sure you'll fall short,
fail, or miss it many times before you make. That's all
part of life. If you don't try how can you succeed? What's
holding you back?

Another thing that wave reminded me was just how much
things change and how critical it is to try to adapt to
change. A 540 is a long way from a nose ride. It represents
a totally different way of thinking about, and riding a wave.
One is not better than the other, they're merely different.
They represent two ways of approaching something. Just
because things change doesn't mean we must all follow along
blindly or alter the way we think or view the world. Change
happens, it's inevitable. How we adapt and cope with change
is the challenge.

Watching Leif launch that air and spin around above the wave
made me think about trying to imagine yourself doing
something new, or something you've feared. I initially
commented to a friend that I couldn't even imagine myself
doing a 540. The more I thought about
it the less I like the idea that I couldn't imagine it. I probably
will never do one but I'm working on imagining it, seeing and
feeling myself do it. Who knows where that mind game will
lead. I'll bet it pushes me to try something I've not done before.

Make a New Year's resolution. Imagine yourself doing something
new, something you'd like to accomplish. Be persistent in working
to achieve that goal. You just might pull it off and at least you'll
have fun in the trying.