Quit Because You Can’t

Last week I decided: I will quit surfing.

A pain in the arse. Trying to learn to surf but feeling too shy. Trying to get out of debt but forking out money every week on petrol and renting a quad fin. Trying to build a business but going surfing instead. Trying to relate to jegging clad inner city baristas but getting distracted watching the leaves of the tree blowing in a SW.

Mentally I felt like I was caught in the impact zone getting mashed over and over by unforgiving whitewash. The negatives seemed to drown the pros… Surfing is too much effort for little return: driving all that way and then getting dropped in on by a goatboater with a BP portfolio.  Surfing is making my face old: My English rose skin is turning into pot pourri. Surfing breaks my heart: I used to go surfing with my best friend and she and I had a fight and no longer speak.  Surfing is a sexist universe: How come none of the women pro surfers seem inclined to wear a wetsuit during comps preferring instead to wear bikinis? Surfing makes me want to be a consumer: I want to pay top dollar for Billabong tracky dacks so I can lounge against Jan Juc  fish and chip shop looking rebellious.  Surfing is my attempt to be accepted by my sister’s goofy footed husband. Surfers are bogans of the sea. Surfing is my attempt to avoid focussing on writing and taking responsibility for my life. Surfing is me trying to wind back the clock to before I made lots of sketchy choices. Surfing is lie town: population me. These were my thoughts as I walked to the road pantry near my house on the outskirts of the city of Melbourne hours away from any surf to buy some instant coffee.

I reached into my pocket to pay the 7 Eleven lady and there was a big chunk of surfboard wax stuck to the 50c coin. I laughed and said,’ Do you accept surfboard wax?’, the lady behind the counter looked at me with a stifling boredom. And I thought. I can’t quit surfing. Its my ticket out of the 7 Eleven headspace. Yes surfing is an effort and I’m not very good at it and I don’t even have a driver’s license and it brings up lots of insecurity and frustration but what about that time I was surfing in a thunderstorm by myself?  And my head was level with where the rain hit the ocean. And I witnessed thousands of drops from the sky colliding with the sea. And for the first time in a long time I was connected with nature. Or the time I didn’t know where I was on the NSW coast but I just walked into bushland determined to keep walking until I got to the ocean. How free I felt jumping across a gully with my board under my arm.

I don’t want the highlight of my day being a facebook message. I don’t want a 9 to 5 job where my super accumulates and I eat Kingston biscuits. I don’t want to be motivated by money or by what other people think of me. I just want to tap into the part of surfing that is spiritual and grounded.  I just want to look up at the cliffs at Pt Addis and really marvel at the purple clouds setting the orange cliffs ablaze.

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