23 March 2009

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Photo by Dick Hoole from the new issue of 'BodySurf.' Issue 2 now Up!

Monday morning. I start work late on Mondays. I usually spend my Monday mornings drinking far too much coffee, looking for hope in the surf forecasts and writing crap I regret writing by the evening. Not today though. Today, I got some blood drawn because my head space is so fucked and I can't get around the possibility that I'm about to imminently drop dead, which should be OK. Dropping dead at any moment that is. I mean, I could get crushed by a truck cycling to work. Why dwell on it? It will only paralyze me. And it has.

Right now, I wish I was wearing nothing but a speedo and pair of swim fins and getting pummeled by a ferocious shore break in the Indian Ocean. I wish I was Wales being crushed by Ireland at the Cardiff Arms last Saturday. I wish I was slamming on a backside boneless over and over again at Tom's ramp. So I can get the fuck up and take the bull by the horns again.

When I was eleven, my family and I went to the Seychelles. When we got there, we asked around for information on where the best surfing was and we were pointed to the same beach by everyone. Well, it wasn't really surfable and I didn't surf then anyway but there was a solid shorebreak, at least to an eleven year old. The old man and I spent the next few hours body surfing and getting totally pummeled over and over. I was calling it 11' solid. I think it was one of the most exhilarating things I had done up until that point. I felt invincible every time I bounced up off the sand. I'd blow the salt water out of my nose and shake the sand out of my baggies, briefly regain composure and then take off running down the sand bank to dive under the next life-threatening wave and wait for the next one to carry me back and crush me on the beach again and again...

Later that day, we went to a calmer beach on the other side of the island that still had  a bodysurfable wave so I taught my little brother how to do it. The old man, gave us the usual lecture about not going out of our depth before announcing he was going for a swim and then he took off swimming. I watched him as he swam to an offshore reef, what seemed like miles away. I momentarily worried for his safety. Arms like windmills. Perfect, strong, steady and rhythmic strokes. Going and going.