Name: Tim Organ
From: CA, USA
Years surfing: 42
If the ocean could talk, I think it would sound something like Tim Organ. Passionate, deliberate, and purely authentic. Our thirty-minute phone conversation radiated through the rest of my day and got me smiling while my fingers ran across the key board typing this up.
When asked: How has surfing impacted your life? Here is a peak at Tim’s response…
“It’s more about the ocean than surfing.” Growing up at the beach, Tim was in the water a lot, but he expresses that it wasn’t always a surfboard underneath of him. “Sometimes it was a surfboard, yes, but other times it was a body-board, and we would bodysurf too. We’d do anything that kept us in the water.”
The ocean left Tim coming back for more, “I came to find that the water is very calming and relaxing to me, but it also gives me a lot of energy. I noticed that when I wasn’t near the water, I felt a sense of depression. That’s when I started diving in deeper, into the science of it.” Let the truth be known, “I never knew about negative ions until I started understanding the ocean more. They are released as the waves break, we inhale them, and feel uplifted, energized as a result.”
Although Tim simply loves to be in the ocean, with or without a board, he recognizes the differences each foster. “It’s really about challenging yourself, and that doesn’t necessarily mean challenge yourself in big swell.” He explains, “on a day when the waves aren’t big and there may not be a lot of form, it would be challenging for me to be out there because I like to be moving. On those days when I had to sit a lot, I would find myself getting impatient. What I learned is, I need to use surfing as more of a meditation. Being in the water and not being super active is okay. It’s okay just to be out there soaking it all in.” He describes the beauty of the coast and depicts the early mornings and late evenings as “spiritual moments on the water.”
So, what happens when the conditions are challenging, when the waves are big? “It brings out a lot of fear,” he says. “What happens if I fall? What happens when I’m paddling out and there is a lot of other surfers out there? What happens if I get hammered by the waves when I’m paddling out? These all present their own levels of challenges.” He expresses how each challenge forces you to act moment to moment, adjusting, watching, listening, and continuing forward. He notes, “in the water when you get knocked down, you have to pick yourself back up, you have to keep moving because there’s always another wave coming.” Tim describes how this creates “physical and mental tests.” “As each wave continues to hit you, you become more tired, and your mindset might start to go, okay I’m done, I’m giving up, but you have to battle through that.”
Through the adversity that each condition presents, Tim finds loads of respect. “The ocean has so much power, so much energy. In my view, it’s a living breathing thing. You have to respect it, in order to understand it. You have to understand it, in order to be able to use it correctly, to be able to channel all of its goodness.”
When asked if the impact that the ocean has on him trickles into his time out of the water, Tim says…
“It absolutely does. The biggest things that it gives me is a sense of gratitude, a sense of purpose, and a sense of calmness. As I mentioned, it’s a form of mediation. When I need to ground myself, I go to the ocean. Having this as part of my life has allowed me to look at life through a different lens.”
The most profound thing about the ocean for Tim, is the spiritual aspect of it. “The ocean is healing, its baptizing, its cleansing. I like to hear it, touch it, see it, smell the scent of the saltwater, inhale the ions. It’s a very spiritual thing to me.” To Tim, “water is god-like. I highly respect it, yet it also allows me to test my limits, and those limits encompass patience as well.” Tim admits that there are days when he decides not to paddle out, to sit and watch instead, because he has learned to accept what he is capable of, “to test the limits, but not push them too far.”
I asked Tim, “If there is one thing you could tell someone who has never surfed, but wants to, what would it be?”
“Get in the WATER!” Tim replied. “It doesn’t matter whether you surf, bodysurf, knee board, or frolic in the water. Just get it the water! Challenge yourself. And it’s okay to fail- you don’t have to go out there and be perfect at what you’re doing. Know that when you go out into the water, you’re going to be knocked down, but it’ll teach you to pick yourself back up. And celebrate that, celebrate your wins, no matter how small they might seem.”
Cheers to you Tim! Thank you for participating in The Ocean is My Guru’s “inner-views.” I hope to surf with you some day!