July 08, 2007

Surfing.......I am in the water!

To act on the 12 action items that I want to do before I turn 30 in October, I decided to give surfing a try. I went to to search for surfing instructors in the San Francisco Bay Area. After corresponding with a few potential coaches, I picked one is able to provide me with a wet suit and a surfing board. He charges me $45/hr, which is a reasonable market rate.

On Saturday, I was still having the muscle pain from the ice-skating the night before. When I was up in the morning, I felt so exhausted that I thought about not going to the lesson. However, Victor's wife, Rachel, told me that I should go regardless of my tiredness. Otherwise, I would end up staying in the bed for the entire day and felt miserable afterwards.

Therefore, shortly after 1:30 p.m., I changed into my swimmer trunks, put on my sandals and sunglasses and started driving to Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica. I got there at about 2:40p.m. and was waiting outside the Taco Bell at the beach for my coach to show up.

My coach, Michael, showed up at around 3:15p.m. or so and the first thing I realized was that he was much younger than me! After feeling so incapable last night at the ice-skating ring, I am having the exact same experience all over again! People younger than me are much better than I am at all types of athletic activities. I guess I really studied and got sheltered too much by my parents when I was in Hong Kong. Now, I am about to turn 30 and behaving like a person who has a mid-life crisis. For me, I ain't looking for a young trophy wife or a Porsche. It's a list of things that I should have learned when I was little!

First, I was so clumsy when I tried to put on my wetsuit. I actually got it wrong the 1st time and I saw that Michael was about to burst out laughing. I guess he had never seen a real "beginner" in his life before. After changing into the wetsuit, I started carrying the long board and walking to the beach with my coach. Guess what, the board was a lot heavier than I expected! I guess I am just way too weak!

Michael showed me some of the basics such as paddling, getting on the board, standing up etc. As you can imagine, it's even a challenge for me to get on the board when the waves are hitting right at my face, let alone standing up and actually doing the surf.

For almost 90 minutes, I just remember being in the water a lot because basically I got knocked over by any wave. It didn't help that the waves were really large that afternoon and the water was freezing cold! Michael thought that I would be ready to ride some big waves. I ended up got sucked into the water and drank quite a few gallons of sea water. Finally, I told him that I should just practice how to get on the board and paddle to the waves first before attempting to stand on the board.

My coach did demonstrate once for me to ride the waves. From what I can tell, he is very good at surfing. I guess I would say anything who can ride any wave as a good surfer. Anyway, I am going to try it again in the next few weeks in Santa Cruz. Hopefully, the waves will be smaller and the temperature will be higher there.

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