Author’s Note: Welcome back to Hillsboro@20, a weekly recount of my thoughts and experiences as a 20-year-old living in Hillsboro, OR. In this second installment, I discuss my broader takeaways from undergoing surf lessons. So take some time and enjoy the read.
Last week, my brother, Tyler, and I embarked on a day trip to the Oregon coast to learn the fundamentals of surfing. Upon the conclusion of our lesson, I felt enlightened not only with the skills to continue my succession through the sport but also the wisdom to proficiently confront other worldly challenges.
I have organized my takeaways into three key points.
- Realize the true insignificance of perceived barriers.
For the majority of my life, I understood surfing on the Oregon coast to be a recreation reserved for the audacious, those undaunted by the frigidly tempered waters. My engagement in the activity was strictly hindered by this characteristic of the environment. While I realized the purpose of wetsuits, I did not believe them to be a match for the ocean’s cold. I could not have been more wrong.
For the entire duration of our lesson, I remained unbothered by the water’s temperature. Excluding my head, the wetsuit effectively sealed off every surface of my body from my surroundings, preserving my internal heat for every second demanded.
For as large of a barrier as the ocean’s temperature was to my desire to surf the Oregon coast, its true significance was revealed to be minuscule. In reality, it was no reason to withhold partaking in the activity.
- Let competition fuel your ambition, not your envy
Having my brother learning to surf alongside me excited an atmosphere of competitiveness.
As beginners, our main goal was to maintain balance while standing upright on the board. It was a struggle for both of us. However, Tyler first accomplished the task. Rather than allowing my energy to be consumed by envy of this sight, I channeled it toward an enhanced focus.
Sure enough, I stood on my board shortly after.
For the remainder of the lesson, we both improved tremendously, fueled by the desire to outdo the other rather than indulge in a jealous state.
- Understand the importance of establishing a proper foundation for growth.
This lesson simply served as an introduction to surfing, a means of establishing the fundamental techniques required to continue in the sport. We progressed slowly, ensuring that our developing habits and muscle memory would elicit success in our future surfing endeavors. Our instructor emphasized the usefulness of mastering the basics before fully immersing ourselves. For the majority of our lesson, we remained in waist-deep water, practicing our routine of rising to our feet with waves of manageable sizes.
With hopes of advancing our skills in years to come, my brother and I valued possessing a strong foundation for growth. In addition, we realized that skillful execution of any enterprise requires a prior investment of time and effort.
Nobody should be surfing mavericks on day one.
Signing up for a surf lesson, I envisioned myself perhaps adopting a desire to pursue a new hobby. Never did I expect I would depart with a more comprehensive understanding of how to approach life’s various challenges.
Gratefully, I acquired both.