It’s as if I had been preparing myself for it my entire life. When it got there, I was ready. No more anxiety, not even excitment. I just knew I had to go and lean in.
It’s been a week now since he’s gone, and even though I was waiting for it, board in hand, the sea was calm. Baby waves only. Nothing worth really mentioning.
Until that afternoon. On that lunch break, I felt the urge to lie down and rest. The Universe sensed that I was ready. It sent me the wave.
It’s not a heartbreak. My heart is not shattered into thousand pieces. It’s a big, big wave. The kind of wave that washes you completely. Not a tsunami though. Just a big, big wave.
“Big wave surfing can be painful and, sometimes, put your life in serious danger.”
The wave seems at first overwhelming, but I have no fear. I know now it won’t kill me. But still. It is indeed so strong it’s almost painful.
Every surfer will tell you: preparation is key. Knowledge is power. In order to be ready for that big wave, your daily job is to find the perfect balance between physical health and mental prep. As the experts say, “you are not born a big wave rider, but you may become one.” I guess that’s how you can describe me. I have been studiying for years my own currents, ebbs and flows, knowing how things would unfold based on my personal inner ocean. Surfers practice Pilates and yoga, to stretch and increase their lung capacity as expand their ability to stay focused and relaxed. I’ve got plenty of practice in that field. Surfers also gather external information, which helps them plan better. I was fully aware of that big wave coming up, which did help.
Big wave surfers not only prepare for a successful ride, they also carefully plan whenever the wave will get them. They prepare for it as much as they do prepare to actually surf the wave. They learn that if caught by the wave, they have to let the whitewater control the movement of their body. My first big wave was that powerful. I did not resist the wave. I surrendered to it, letting it wash me.
They also always have an exit strategy. They learn to bail out the smartest way possible. They wipeout avoiding head dives, keeping their calm and even being able to open their eyes underwater. I stayed very conscious, and made sure I did not become the wave no matter what. No man is an island, and I am not an ocean neither. Throughout the whole ride, I stayed the surfer.
“Paddling out alone is probably the worst mistake a big wave surfer can make.”
Big surfers also make sure they keep safe, no matter what, by wearing a buoyancy vest and never going out by themselves on a big wave surfing day. I made sure I was safe physically, and well looked after. The ocean can be tricky if you choose to go on your own. You don’t have to. Let other surfers give you tips and tricks, and catch you whenever you fail.
That’s how, surrounded by friends and family, the ocean gently left me on the shore. Other waves will come, and I will for sure keep surfing, but for now let’s say that I’ll stay for a while on the beach, until the sun dries me up.