When I was a kid, I remember watching people surfing on TV (where else could I have watched them, growing up in Poland…?) and dreaming to be like them one day. Then, soon after I graduated, I watched the documentary feature “Surf Wise” and was hooked. I just knew that it would be my life one day.
We started to windsurf with my friend because it was the closest I could get to surfing and the smartest thing to do considering weather conditions in Poland and in Europe. But how many times a year can you windsurf when you live far away from any kind of water…? Once or twice every other week? The decision to move to NY was mostly because of that – I wanted to have this lifestyle. To windsurf whenever I wanted to, which meant: to be able to afford it and to live close to the ocean. Not many people windsurf in NY, but we do have a surf culture here, so I decided to switch (especially that this was what I wanted to master initially). But nothing comes easily, especially if it’s good. I moved to NY 4 years ago this May, and I signed up for surf classes this July, three weeks ago. It took me 4 years and one month to fulfill one of my biggest dreams. I signed up for a school that I followed since my first year in NY (Locals, @localssurfschool). I liked what they do and because I’m loyal I knew that as soon as I can afford it, I would join their team. And so I did. That means that now every Saturday and Sunday morning I get on a train around 8:30 am and get to the Rockaway beach where my classes take place, right after 10 am (it takes me at least 1:35h to get there). My classes start at 11:15 am, but I like to be there early to watch people surf and get some tips while watching them. The lesson itself takes 2 hours.
I’m at the very beginning and I don’t know much yet, but I already know that surfing is everything what I expected it be. Or maybe even more. We talked with my new surf buddy yesterday that surfing is a metaphor for life itself. First you have to get with your board through white water (where waves break), you have to paddle through the waves (which is still exhausting for me), then you look and patiently wait for waves, then you have to be able to pop up and have this perfect timing when a wave comes; then you look where you are going, stay focused and enjoy the ride. And then you do the whole thing again. When I said that surfing is something more, I meant that I had no idea that surfing is like meditation, as well. There you are on this board, connected to the ocean and to your own thoughts. Suddenly you’re a part of nature again. It’s such a freeing feeling.
Even though I waited so long to finally do it, I was still afraid to start. I knew that I would suck during my first lessons and that was making me really uncomfortable. But I conquered my fear, was punched in my face by the board a few times, had hard landing a few times, choked with water and was beaten by waves, not to mention got some bruises, but I’m fine now and will climb on this board again, and again and again. Isn’t that a great life metaphor?
As I said – my journey just began and I have plenty of things to learn, but the fact that I’m actually doing it makes my heart melt. I cried after my first lesson, just because it was a proof to me that it is worth to strive, to be patient and what’s the most important – to chase your dreams, because there will be a day that you can actually grab them and they will give you the sincerest tears of joy you’ve ever experienced.