Looking back on the hot summer days spent at the beach and the cold winters eves trying to catch the last bit of the swell, I know there is no other way I would have liked to grow up. There I am, just two years old and sitting on the front of a longboard as my dad sits on the back, from the shore I can hear the panic in my grandmothers voice and see the fear in my mothers eyes. Suddenly I’m three and I’m being pushed into waves by my dad, leaving nothing but me against the open ocean and the whole two feet of water below me.
Some memories stand out more than others, like the first time I tried to paddle out in a hurricane and couldn’t make it to the outside, I came back to the beach and let out some of the first curse words to ever come out of my middle schooler mouth, I felt this feeling of disappointment come over me and in the following months after the storm I worked to build up my strength to be ready for the next time. Next time came and next time went, and now I’ve surfed so many swells it’s all just kind of a blur, surfing gives me something to take pride in and something to push myself to be better at.
Not only does surfing bring me personal enjoyment but it allows me with an escape from whatever may be going on in the real world, whether it’s the stress of school or work, I know that the ocean will always be inviting me to come back in. There is a feeling of satisfaction when you’re out in the water spending some one on one time with mother nature that I think can really only be explained by paddling out.
Surfing has also opened me up to a whole nother side of life, surfing has allowed me to change lives. As I branched out from surfing in America and moved to give Nicaragua a try I realized how miniscule most problems are that people complain about on a day to day life. I met people who had nothing to complain about because that had nothing at all, I met people who showered in buckets in the forest, I met people who shared water out of the same hole they dug in the ground, I met people who seemingly had nothing in the world but were as happy as someone who had everything and every single one of these people effected the way I live my life in different ways. As I traveled to this country to surf I brought along water filter systems, clothes, and school supplies for kids that were literally dying to learn, and it made me realize something, surfing changes lives.
I believe in the power that surfing holds to heal the mind and body, I believe in the ways that surfing can completely unify different types of people, I believe that surfing is a natural cure for stress, I believe that surfing can strengthen a person's values and change their view on life, I believe that surfing changes lives.