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Back in the water

November 25 2007 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

The night of Sept 15th I went out for a quick skate. I was acting like a 12 year old Jay Adams impersonating a mid-70s Larry Bertelmann… caught a wheel on a tight turn, launched and snapped my wrist.

Pain, surgery, screws, metal, PT and two months later… today was my first day back in the ocean.

On one hand my style and performance defined the word kook. Yes, I know Bethany Hamilton surfs amazingly well and does so with one arm. I did not. Truth is that I’m rushing the return by a month and the wrist still hurts with any real force. Duck dives... were not easy.

On the other hand I felt like I was home again. Two months is a long time to be out of the ocean. Too long. Being back gave me a renewed set of lenses to look at the ocean...

When you surf everyday you miss things. You stop paying attention to the light hitting the glassy section of the water before a wave rises out of seemingly nothing. You forget how amazing it is to simply feel the water engulf your whole body as you duck under a wave breaking over you. You take for granted the instant your momentum catches the wave, you drop down the face and set up for a bottom turn.

Not surfing at all for a time gave me an appreciation of the simple joys of surfing... what it is to leave virtually all your cares on the shore as you paddle out; the experience of having the cold ocean water work it’s way up your body as you walk into the ocean with your board in tow; those insane situations where a pod of dolphin swims by you.

The “time away” was a great reminder of what I missed and to some degree who I am. It doesn’t matter that I’ll never surf as well as Tom Curren. What matters is that I understand the value the ocean has to me. What matters is that I have a new set of eyes that not only sees what the ocean gives us but also what is at risk if we just sit back and do nothing to defend it.

If you surf, join Surfrider for $25. We've been given so much. Let's find some way to give back. Oh, and... if you skate, wear pads.
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