Last week I felt my five year old self reemerge. It was that feeling like I use to get on Christmas Eve. Giddy, excited, can’t sleep type feelings. Instead of Santa though, I knew swell was on its way. I checked and rechecked the predictions, graphs, and charts up until the night before of its unwrapping.
The morning of, I awoke pre sunrise. Somehow (note to self) I completed my “to-do” list before 7am, was fueled with coffee, and was out the door by 7:15am. I drove down the coast line in anticipation, peering over into the vast blue every chance I got. From the top of one bridge I could see the cresting waves spraying, like they were rejoicing to the high heavens. It wasn’t long until I reached “the spot,” pulling down the road, I quickly whipped into a parking space. I jumped out, surprised I wasn’t still in my pajamas, and ran to the top of the dunes. The conditions were still a little funky due to all of the wind from the days before, but nonetheless there was swell, so back to my truck I went.
Shaking, I nervously yet excitedly changed into my wetsuit. Like that five year old waiting for her brother and sister to wake up before she could open the gifts, I waited anxiously as my friends were on their way. It wasn’t long after that Gail came cruising down the road. She quickly parked, changed, and off we went, surfboards in hand.
You could hear the sound of the waves from the street. Uncertainty crept into our minds, but we kept walking, reminding ourselves that sometimes fear can be used as motivation and fear can also be converted into courage. When our feet met the sand, we were instantly hypnotized by what laid before us. With mixed feelings we glanced at each other, as if on cue our eyebrows raised and eyes widened. Yet somehow, in that moment, our combined tenacity overcame any and all doubts. We paddled out.
We had such a memorable session. We didn’t catch a tone of waves, but the waves that we did ride were ones to remember… big, steep, and fast. The type that make everything else in the world pause and fade to the back of the background. The kind that remind you to drop in with commitment, no time for hesitation. The waves that say “you are a badass!” then humble you with a little whitewater roll so you don’t get too cocky.
I was on a high for days after that session, but more importantly, I recognized and was reminded of the power of friendship. The power of women empowering other women. The power of trusting one another. The power that only exists through a collective. I’ll admit, I wouldn’t have paddled out alone that day. So thank you Gail, Corrine, Lora, and Kandy for being such salt water warriors, and especially being some of the most empowering courageous women whom I get to call friends!