On my first weekend excursion I went to the Pacific tourist town of Tamarindo. On the first day of my weekend I hung out with my friends on the beach, slurped smoothies, went horseback riding, and went dancing with my friends.

The next day was the beach again, and surfing. I knew the steps involved in surfing.  My Uncle J. let me give it a try a couple of times when we were in California for his wedding a few years ago, but I had no idea what it would be like. Nevertheless, I thought I would give it a go.  I was in no mood to sit on the beach and I had three hours to kill; plus, it only cost $10 USD to rent a board for the day.

When surfing, it is important to apply sunscreen regularly as you are sweating in the ocean, and your sunscreen will rub off.  Yeah, you might miss 20 minutes of wave time, but it is better to be out of the water for 20 minutes than to have a red peeling back and the risk of sun poisoning.  Another thing to consider is the wax on the board. I got an upper belly waxing and while it wasn’t excruciating it was a bit uncomfortable. Either a swim shirt or even an athletic material shirt would help, not only with the belly waxing, but also with preventing sunburn.

Surfing in itself is pretty straightforward. You see a wave coming. Lying on your stomach with your legs together, you start paddling as fast as your arms can carry you.  The wave will eventually overtake you but before it fully passes and breaks you stand up.  That is, if you don’t fall which will happen a lot, especially when you first start.

For a solid 3.5 hours, I didn’t leave the ocean even though I was tired, hungry, and my lips were caked with salt.  It is you, the sky, and the waves. Constantly looking, assessing, and waiting.  There is a serenity and acceptance that you find in that waiting. The reality of life becomes miniscule and all of your stresses are insignificant an you realize that you’re just a piece of this planet, a piece of this universe, and nothing can change that. So why worry? Why stress? I am just a piece in oblivion trying for that brief moment to be one with nature, basking in its beauty and strength. If I succeed or fail what does it matter? You get back up and try again. It took me all of those 3.5 hours but I finally stood up. It was nothing short of amazing. I cannot wait until the next weekend at the beach to try again -with a little more attention to sunscreen.

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