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thats what I’m talking about!

The weather in Batukaras has been wet and wild for the past week – Incredible storms and lighting flashes and the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard as the forks of light crack across the ocean threatening to tear the sky in two. We’ve spent nights trapped at the warungs and braving out the storm with an ample supply of Bintang, nasi and checkers… it’s been great fun.

Z and I went surfing yesterday in a pretty wild ocean – and my arms are certainly paying the price for it today as the muscles throb right down to the bone. Just to paddle took so much energy and no matter how hard you worked your arms, it was always one step forwards, two steps back.

In my true style the first wave I caught was enormous and almost killed me. I went down and my board shot straight up in the air, crashing down on top of my submerged body and creating some spectacular bruises across my legs as the fins threatened to slice through my skin. I was down in the white wash, lungs aching, legs burning, kicking and finding sand against my hands. Wrong way. I curse and turn and flick back to what I am hoping is the surface, my eyes and ears filled with white water. Breaking the top there is time for a nervous call from Z to check I’m ok and a quick breath before another huge wave crashes on my head.

I have to say, quite honestly, when I finally got a break in the set and could paddle out of the firing line, the ocean had instilled a pretty decent sized fear in me. I looked at the horizon and watched the sets getting bigger as the ocean got a little wilder and the pull below me got stronger and to be honest I was about ready to throw in the towel on this whole surfing thing all together. But then I decided to just try, one more time. I kicked and paddled into a decent sized wave and something in me just clicked, I was on my feet quickly, soft barefeet balanced perfectly on the cool hard board, and out of nowhere I had suddenly accquired an ability to surf. I rode the wave 2/3 of the way across the bay, which for me was a definate record, and only when I turned around to do a glory fist pump in the air to my friends floating back in the break, did I lose my balance and fall into the gentle wash. I was completely focussed, completely in the moment and I could turn and bounce and find the speed on the wave. I’ve done a lot of great things in my life and there is nothing like the feeling of being a little tiny person balancing on top of a giant angry ocean – and its not trying to beat you to death… I caught three more good ones before my arms literally gave in and I dragged my body and board to shore. I have certainly regained my love of the surf and am very sad that I won’t have access to it in the next two weeks – and that I’ll probably have to start from scratch when I get back to Batukaras in a couple of weeks time.

Barefoot and high on the adrenaline.

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