Do Different

A story to share.

A couple weeks ago I ran at sunrise along the ocean and saw the surfers welcoming the sun. It looked magical, their bodies silhouetted between the sun and shore. I tiptoed through the house this morning making sure not to wake the teens (as though that is even possible).

I made my thermos of tea, grabbed my swimsuit hanging on the bike handlebars in my gear garage and climbed up to the attic for my wetsuit. I loaded the foam board into the minivan.

I don’t know how to surf which is kinda embarrassing as I have been ‘trying’ for 20 years. I have had a few lessons but... I don’t know how to line up, when to paddle, and jumping up to my feet isn’t smooth. I blame my knee injury but we both know that is just an excuse.

I arrived at the beach and there were surfers off to the right on the point and a couple off to the left. I had no idea where to go. Tide was high and I stumbled getting into the water. It felt like a test, telling me I should quit now. I looked ridiculous getting into the water, stumbling on hidden rocks under the water. Once beyond the shore break I paddled to the left. As I approached two surfers I announced my ineptness. Then I heard, “Terra, is that you?” The sun was bright and blinding but just as a wave was coming behind me I put together it was my kid’s last babysitter. We love Tara! At the same moment the wave grabbed me and I screamed. I teetered between weight forward and back and then popped up into standing. There was zero smoothness about those moves, zero. I even had time to lift my arms to the sky and scream “HELLO 2021, I LOVE YOU”.

I paddled back out and connected for a long while with Tara as we all tried to catch waves over the next hour. I finished with another stand, which for this almost 48 year old non-surfer felt like a win. I got out and knew I wanted to spend time drinking tea and sitting by the waves. I also knew the 45 degree outside temp would make my hot tub seem more inviting. I shivered for another hour wrapped in my towel, drinking tea. I truly love being outside.

A woman approached me to say hi as she looked at the line up. She had a hydrofoil board and I quickly shared how impressed I was as I pointed to my foam board from Costco. She shared she has been surfing for 35 years but this was new for her, hydrofoiling. I guess I have that kind of energy to invite people in as she opened up immediately about her kids and her midlife fears. Tackling the hydrofoil was bringing lots to the surface for her this morning. I could feel the weight of the world she was carrying on her shoulders with COVID, her kids, her age. I drank my tea and listened. Almost an hour went by and as she picked up her board she said “I’d love to give you surf lessons if you want.” I grabbed her name and number.

So many unexpected things happened for me by 9am on the second day of 2021... I think I’m gonna keep on like this. Allow what manifests in my life, embracing the opportunities and practice patience when they appear clothed at first as


I’m not sure when it happens, the cross over point where I will feel solid in saying it as part of my story, “I surf”. I’ll get there, just need to put my time in.