Learning to Surf What You’re Given

These waves suck! There’s no way I’m paddling out in this mess.

Sound like something your buddy says during the summer doldrums? I used to be–that guy–uttering those malicious words.

A couple years ago I joined the workforce and became a 9-5er Weekend Warrior, much like the rest of America. Over the summer and part of winter I found myself hanging with my family at the beach on the weekends. Somewhere along the way I got lazy and only surfed when there were prime waves by my standards.

I absolutely refused to surf what I was given.Justin Fricke The Weekend Warrior Learning to Surf What You're Given

Going from cutting class in high school to surf and surfing everyday during the summer–to hardly ever surfing really put me in a slump and it coincidentally happened when my personal life was going haywire.

Lucky for me, Chasing Mavericks came out about that same time and really got some gears turning in my head. My mom knows me way too well and threw a book at me that next Christmas, Making Mavericks. It’s kind of the book version of the movie–and it’s way better than the movie.

I buried my head in that book so fast and got trucking through it. There finally came the time when California surf legend, Frosty Hesson, met local kid Jay Moriarty and started working with and teaching Jay about the art of surfing. Jay progressed real quick and Frosty kept on emphasizing that Jay needs to surf what he’s given. All that finally sank in one day when Jay got dead last in a surf contest, a contest he should have won, but the waves sucked and he didn’t even catch a wave.

At that moment I felt what Jay was feeling–a total failure.

There had been so many opportunities in front of me to be happy and get in the water with some buddies and just surf for the fun of it. Instead I resorted to being a beached whale, moping around wanting someone to feel sorry for me.

This past weekend had practically zero surf and those of us that went surfing were freaking out when a six inch to one foot wave would come rolling through. Even though the waves were so tiny, all of us were stoked out of our minds to be in the water surfing with each other and living in the moment while escaping life for a couple hours. It was so chill just sharing waves with each other without a care in the world.

The best day was on Sunday because I got to spend about four straight hours on Fathers Day surfing with my old man. The guy that pushed me into that first wave 16 years ago that got me hooked on surfing.

We were also the only kid/dad duo around.

Surfing’s so much more than just a bunch of kooks paddling around in the ocean trying to ride some walls of water to stay sane. It teaches you about life–nothing’s ever going to be perfect by our standards.

We might as well learn to surf what we’re given, in and out of the water.

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