It’s the beginning of October 2020. I have just recovered from a bad lumbar sprain and today I am starting my first surf lesson at the local surf school. I am exactly 55 years old and pretty fearful of high waves, strong currents and fast winds. But something -don’t have the time to wonder what- drives me into the ocean with a quite heavy surfboard and a borrowed oversized wetsuit.
I am tired of being a sedentary ageing person. Not that I don’t want to grow older. I learned some time back that it’s going to happen whether I like it or not. But I want to grow into a healthy older person, and I have realized that to achieve this goal I need to keep fit and active. I do practice yoga though. But I mainly meditate, study, think a lot, read, analyze everything see, hear, touch or taste, and overuse my mind to try to apprehend and comprehend the world around me. So I am basically a sedentary ageing intelectual woman. I am not afraid of dying -except when I feel I might die LOL-, but I am afraid of illnesses that slowly creep into your tissues and bones and cells until you are unable to climb stairs or get up from a chair without a hand. I know those will eventually show up. But I would like to avoid them as long as I can. I am happier and more self-content than ever in my life, and I intend to keep it that way. Even make it better if possible.
So back to right here right now. Back to my first surfing lesson. Fortunately, the ocean is totally flat today. I am really nervous, excited too. I am the oldest in the group. Of course. I wonder why I keep being interested in weird stuff people my age defnitely don’t usually do unless they have done it their whole lives. I would get it had I been the adventurous or daring type. But although I had my share of adventure in life, I am really the good girl, calm type, full of fears and preocupations yet nice and sociable, so it doesn’t really make sense. Whatever.
The water is cold and the wetsuit is too big. I am not a fan of cold water but well, this is part of the deal. It’s funny to feel how unstable a beginner’s surfboard can be even in calm waters. Mine keeps bouncing sideways and I manage to look like an idiot trying to paddle out and losing balance over and over again. In dead calm waters.
We paddle around a few more minutes. Then we play a game consisting in holding the board still so we can practice pop up safely in pairs. No matter how safe it is, and how calm the water is, I am unable to do something as simple as pushing myself up while placing one leg forward on the board. Where did my core muscles go? They were there last time I checked! I feel frustrated and ridiculous in my oversized wetsuit and my hair dripping carelessly into my eyes. So I internally get into ‘counselor mode’, reminding myself of the impact of negative self-thoughts and feelings, and I try to pretend I am totally cool with all this business. It seems to work because I manage to stop beating myself up. Until the next lesson.
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