Photos by Camilla Fuchs
As women, we’ve been weathering some serious storms lately. It seems just when the winds calm down and the horizon looks clear, dark clouds gather again as relentlessly as crashing waves.
But like surfing, there’s a time to get pummeled and a time to ride a wave. After every wipe out, we pop up stronger.
In fact, what we teach at surf camp can help us navigate this chaos with a fresh perspective and put the white water behind us.
When surfing, we encounter things we initially thought were scary. For example, when something brushes my leg in the lineup, I (silently) scream, convinced it’s a jellyfish. The same goes for unexpected challenges. So, when life sends you a rogue wave, instead of automatically freaking out, press pause and take a deep breath. The sooner you calm the anxiety, the sooner you can control the moment.
Don’t surf alone. It’s not safe and you’ll always have more fun in a session with friends. When waves are good, you’ll cheer each other on. When they’re not, you’ll help each other float. In life, our girlfriends help get us through hard times and support our personal growth. It’s said women hold up half the sky. We can certainly hold up each other.
We don’t have to only surf the big sets. Often growth comes in many small waves. So show up, don’t give up. You’ll find beauty in just letting the salt water run through your fingers or absorbing the smile of a friend who got her first ride. It can be the tiny, singular acts that make the difference. That said, vote.
When paddling out, point your board to the horizon, grab the rails, and push through the waves. Don’t turn right, don’t turn left, stay true to your goal and hold on tight.
Dropping in and popping up on your board is an experience like no other. The same goes for standing up for yourself and those you love. If you don’t think your voice matters, see RBG the documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Although soft spoken and small in stature, she effectively championed for human rights like a warrior. It’s time for us to stand up, too.
To surf you must accept you’ll get tossed by Mother Ocean. Hair will go in every direction, bathing suits may disappear, and you won’t know which way is up. It’s natural to want to be in control, but only when you accept the unknown will you be able to advance with grace, calm, and confidence.
New surfers often forget one important rule: Look where you’re going. When paddling for a wave, your surfcoach will tell you to pick a spot on the shore, stay focused, and don’t look down. Before you know it, you’re riding the wave!
We can’t change what’s behind or control what’s coming, but one thing’s for sure, the sun will come out and your wave will come!
See you in the waves,
Sign up for Las Olas Stories
For over 20 years we’ve collected stories about women and surf culture that resonate with us. We write about friends, fashion, food, the waves, gear, and much more with one unifying theme ~ our connection to the ocean.
If you’d like to join us in the lineup, enter your email and tap the LAS OLAS STORIES button below. We’ll send you the next post. We promise not to share your address with anyone and if our stories aren’t your cup-of-tea, you can one-click unsubscribe at any time.