Monday, June 20, 2011

Get to know the people in your life

Who surfs at your "local" line-up? Do you know
many of them? I mean do you actually know them,
more than knowing how they surf, what board they
ride or what car drive?

Yesterday, being Father's Day, some people seemed
compelled to talk, write, and think about what they know or
knew about their fathers. I found it interesting to read what
people had to say on facebook about their dad's and the
influence their father's had on their lives. Being a father
and a grandfather that's something I think about often.
Being a son whose dad died when I was 18 added a particular
slant on the whole thing for me. I don't feel that I really got
to know my dad very well and I don't think he really got to
know me either. A shame and loss for us both. Oft times I
wonder what would he think about how I turned out. I would
like to have had a chance to have gotten to know him better too.
Sure I've got memories, an image here, a flash there, a photo,
a reflection on an event or conversation. We both missed out.

Missing out on getting to know people in our lives is a shame.
We've had a few waves lately and, as is becoming more usual,
my local spot was packed. Since the weather
was warm and the waves mellow it seemed that folks
were more into talking and hanging out. More into
getting to know each other. I got a chance to
attach more than names to many of the faces that have
been showing up lately. I met peoples wives
and kids. We talked and got to know each other a bit more.
Odd how when we returned to the line-up the vibe seemed
slightly different, a bit more pleasant. Fewer people surfed
in silence, fewer dropped in on each other.

Get to know the people in your life, the people at your line-up.
Who knows what impact it could have. Might get you a few
more waves, might give you the pleasure of watching someone
else get a wave or have some fun on a wave you've let them have.
Not much downside to getting to know the people you surf the
waves of your life with.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Playing golf with Tiger, shooting hoops with Michael Jordan

The world of sports is filled with superstars. Every sport
has those special gifted and super talented athletes whose skills
and abilities are unrivaled. We watch them on t.v., admire them
from afar, and maybe even get an opportunity to pay for tickets
to see them play in person. That's the way it is. About all we
mortals can do is fantasize about trying trying to hit a ball out
of Yankee Stadium, pairing up for a round of golf with Tiger
Woods, or shooting a few hoops with LeBron. Surfing, on the
other hand, is very very different.

Last night I got a chance to hear Shaun Tomson talk about his
new book, the updated paperback version of The Surfer's Code.
Someone asked him if anyone ever drops in on him. Shaun smiled,
laughed a bit and replied "sure, at Rincon where I live, I get dropped
in on and yelled at all the time." Shaun surfs Rincon just like
everyone else in Santa Barbara without expecting special treatment.

Someone forwarded me a video of Kelly Slater, arguably the best surfer
ever, tearing it up at Malibu, one of the most crowded waves
on the planet. Two things were obvious in the video; Kelly was
ripping and is an amazing surfer, and even the world champ
gets dropped in on and yells people off the wave.

No where else in sports do we get a chance to share the playing field
with our superstars, the heros. Makes no difference if you are a "lifer"
or a grom. We all get to surf the same breaks, the same waves and
on the same days. We share, stare, watch, hoot, and even talk to each
other in the lineup. Guess surfing gives us a real glimpse into the human
condition. We are all very much the same, all paddling for the same
waves, all trying to enjoy many of the same simple pleasures in life.
Rich or poor, black or white in the water we all want the same things,
all have a chance to surf together. Not a bad model for life.