Sunday, September 28, 2014

What I Learn from Windsurfing

I live in a beautiful part of the world. I get to get in my car, which is fully equipped with a fantastic rack for hauling my gear, get my coffee and, vroom, in a few minutes I'm on the beach. Ready to greet the ocean and challenge myself.

I find I provide good quality of work during the week, good quality of sociality to my loved ones throughout the week, and have a generally solid existence due to the work I put into my physical pursuits such as running and all the water sports I'm pursuing. There's a lot of truth to the "work hard, play hard" adage. 

The water has been calling me since day one. There's something so centering and therapeutic about the ocean that no other thing can seem to match.

This summer I got to really get into paddleboarding and I feel I'm so much the better and the healthier as a result.

Transitioning to windsurfing came naturally. While paddleboarding, I'd come across a lot of windsurfers and would at times engage in conversation with them while out on the water and aways from the shore. I first flirted with the idea of windsurfing when I was a teenager but then life got very busy and I moved to a land-locked state to go to university and the sports of choice in that part of the US were snow-supported.

But now I'm fortunate to live in a place where I get to explore both the water and the snow and how could I not!

Windsurfing is not easy. It's not. It's hard work. It requires concentration, a strong upper body, and just basic grit and relentlessness. Plus, the gear is no joke. In addition to the right board, one needs to invest in the right sail and all the additional accoutrement that will make getting into this sport not only easier but more fun. In sum, it's not like running where all you need is a pair of good shoes. This sport requires a lot. But when you can stand up and go with the wind, there's nothing like it. Nothing!

Putting the sail together, connecting the mast, and getting the board and the sail surf-ready doesn't happen at the wink of an eye. It requires much focus. But I find the hands-on-ness of that whole process really intriguing as well.

And when you're in the ocean and you're doing tacks and jibes as your back is to the wind and let it carry you places, man, it feels so great! No, amazing!

Plus, if paddling with purpose was pretty hardcore for your core, well, windsurfing is a heck of a lot of work for the entire body. It's not just the arms that get a major workout. The upper legs and the core get put to the test as well.

Windsurfing is one of the few activities that makes me fall out of time. Completely. From the moment early on a weekend morning that I put my Level Six layers on to getting on the board and attempting to 'read wind' the best way I can, I feel one with the water, the wind and other surfers around me and I have no way of explaining what that's like. One simply needs to experience this great sport, to get it.

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