Live Like Jay
There he stood, feet in the water, clenching his surfboard, dripping sweat from his forehead, down his cheek, onto his lips, and splashed onto the water. He glared at the ocean’s crushing force, the waves rearing and rolling breaking through the water with the capability of turning him into a vegetable. He breathed in the fresh salty breeze, his heartbeat began to syncopate to the ocean’s harmonious music, and he knew he was ready to surf Mavericks.
Jay was fascinated with the sport of surfing, he recalled the day in which this passion arose. Jay was seven-years old and he was at the cliffs along with his best friend Sabrina when out of nowhere, a huge wave came crashing in the rocks and Jay, being too close to the edge, went crashing with it. Thankfully, Frosty Hesson was there to save him. From that day on, he always looked up to Frosty, almost like a father figure; Jay was captivated by Frosty’s ability to surf and e wanted to become just like him.
The very next day, Jay picked up an archaic surfboard from his shed, the board was split in two pieces, so Jay glued and taped it back together. At the beach it was a bright, sunny day in Santa Cruz, California and Jay was ready to surf his first wave. He sprinted to the warm salty water and began to paddle through the tide and past waves which seemed to almost crash onto his head. He would paddle till his arms became weak and frail, but after countless falls, his faith in the sport began to dim and whither further away from his reach… till he saw the one, his first wave. It came towards him at full speed like a bowling ball aiming for the pins, Jay turned his board towards the shore and paddled as fast as a cheetah chasing its prey, he quickly stood up on his board, maintained his balance, and he simply let the wave take him, feeling the wind blowing through his hair, listening to the melody of the ocean, he must have had the biggest smile that day.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! The alarm goes off and Jay awakes from a dream about the first time he surfed. Today isn’t just another day in the life of a Californian teen, today is the day Jay would surf the tallest, strongest waves ever known to man. Growing up Jay didn’t have the best upbringing: his mom struggled to make ends meet, his father was absent in his, and he didn’t know much of his family other than his own mother. Therefore, he felt he lacked a purpose in the world and wanted to prove to himself that he was worthy despite the obstacle in his life that [prevented him from believing otherwise; Chasing Mavericks was his mission, his destiny, an obligation he owed to himself. He scurried out the door at the speed of lightning to meet up with his mentor, who waited ever so anxiously. Upon their arrival at Mavericks, they saw a path of photographers and people from all over the country, coming together to watch the surfers who would dare take this challenge. The tension beganto rise.
“You ready budd?” says Frosty
“I was born ready, but no not really.” says Jay
Jay’s heart begins to beat faster the closer they get to the beach
“I know you can do this.”
“What if I can’t? What if this is how I die? What if I can’t even reach the waves because the current is too strong? I don’t think i can do this.”
“We’ve been practicing for months, day in and day out, If there’s anyone who can surf Mavericks, it’s you… and me.”
Jay grins at Frosty and turns his head to face the Ocean.
“It’s going to be a big one isn’t it?” says Jay
“Bigger than usual, yes” says Frosty
Frosty parks the van and they begin to get ready.
As Jay and Frosty walk towards the ocean, they knew it could potentially be the last time they saw each other.
“Come here kid” Frosty says as he pulls Jay in for a hug, “Be careful out there and remember everything we practiced. Don’t forget, your journey doesn’t end here, it’s just begun.”
“ I appreciate everything you’ve done, but in case something happens…” Jay says
“Don’t say it.”
“You have to lay off those Costco burrito’s they give you bad breath and I have noticed those extra pounds too.”
Both Frosty and Jay laugh
“Don’t worry I will, good luck kid.”
Jay picks up his board and walks towards the ocean. He stops and looks up at the sea once more; waves are chuckling and surging laughter as they toss immense boats, spumes are filling the sea as they race towards oblivion against worn and weary rocks or vanish onto the seashore of endless worlds, one wrong hit in the water and he’ll be falling onto concrete at fifty miles per hour.
Out into the deep all the surfers waited together side by side for the chance to catch a monstrous wave. A few got lost into oblivion. A few gave up but even fewer knew how to surf this monstrosity. It was Jay’s turn, the moment he has been waiting for. He feels his hands, but they grow numb. His breath is lost at sea, but his heart beats again and syncopates to the ocean's rhythm. He paddled faster than a speeding bullet, stood up onto his board, but lost balance and fell 30 feet onto concrete. Maverick waves are known to hold one down for minutes at a time, Jay was in for a rough ride.
The ocean was twisting and twirling his body, while simultaneously pushing Jay down into a whirlpool of horror. Two minutes passed and the crowd was silent, their hearts were beating out of their chests, tears were filling their eyes, and doubt began to consume their last breath. Three minutes pass, the crowd grows weary, their eyes still fixated on the spot in which Jay fell.
“C’mon kid, you can do it” Frosty mumbles under his breath.
Four minutes pass and as the crowd looks down in pain. All hope was lost. But then... Jay rises from the tunnel of horror, and the crowd goes wild cheering him on. Jay grabs his board and paddles out to the deep, he knew he had to try one more time.
Amid the horizon a beast was forming, moving straight towards Jay, roaring louder and louder as it got closer, he paddled faster than he’s ever had in his whole life, without even thinking he stands up and just like that Jay’s surfing Mavericks. Like a bird riding on the wind. He can feel nature’s energy in the wave as he cuts through the water and glides effortlessly, he feels at one with nature. Then just as quick as it comes, it dies on the shore. Frosty and the crowd run to Jay and lift him into the air while chanting his name. Jay looks at the sky with serenity and smiles to the world. As he thinks, we all come from the sea, but we are not all of the sea, those of us who are, the children of the tides, must return to it again and again. As for the rest, the ones who push the limits discover, the limits sometimes push back.
Live Like Jay
Live Like Jay