How did I get into surfing? That’s probably the first question people ask me when they see my social media posts on facebook, instagram or even snapchat. Take a wild guess…I started surfing at a pretty late age. I started surfing at age 31. I am now close to 33. However, surfing had always been in and out of my life, but I never noticed it or was too busy to take advantage of trying it.
Let me explain….One of my coworkers actually brought the surf lifestyle and culture into my life, and that I am forever grateful. However, there was a deeper reason why I started surfing and it was a tough time in my life.
Surfing had always been in and out of my life even at a young age. My sister taught my how to swim in the local pool in San Rafael. When I was 6 years old, she pushed me into the pool and I started kicking. That was how I learned how to swim. Survival.
Next, movies like Point Break growing up during the 80s I was familiar with the concept and totally felt the adrenaline rush of watching it on the big screen and envisioning a life where I was actually in the water. Growing up with Vietnamese immigrant parents, I was familiar with the ocean life. My uncles had their own fishing companies and boats and we’d be in the ocean or close the ports watching them fish.
I also remember how my sister when she was 15 and watching North Shore, her crush on Kelly Slater and Keeanu Reeves from Point Break. I remember back in the 90s girls loved surfers and that’s how I remember it today. But I don’t surf because of the girls or the image.
I surf because it heals the soul.
If you made it this far, I’ll tell you the truth. Now, to the deeper side of why I started surfing.
I’ve made a ton of mistakes in my teens and young adult life. I’ve made the wrong career moves, investments, I had a wrong perspective on life and materials, but more specifically the wrong choices in losing the women I loved. Some of my biggest regrets. My mentality wasn’t worthy of having such beautiful women. My mentality led to my decisions and my behavior.
I know, I know…I am being such a coward. But hey, life isn’t about how much money you make, or how many trophies you have. Life is about love. Do what you love. Be with who you love. That’s the only reason why people are happy. Surfing taught me that. There is no better joy than being one with nature. It’s free. It’s gratifying. It’s beautiful.
Now what enabled me? Before embarking on my surf life, I went through a horrible break up. Learning how to be alone was hard. Breaking up with someone is hard. Surfing brought me back to life and made me realize how much beauty and joy you get from being in the water or catching that perfect wave. Surfing taught me I could be alone.
The joy of surfing demonstrated a sense of peace. It gave me therapy and a way for me to heal by finding myself in the water. It gave me peace. If you listen to the waves you may very well find something you’re looking for. The beauty of the waves reminded me that love is out there, you just have to open your eyes. And that was all I needed to learn to move on.