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Friday, March 9, 2007

The Result

In the peculiar way that winter tides work, yesterday found high winds, maybe a stronger current, and only one place in all of North Orange County breaking: South Huntington Pier. There were quite a number of people out there when I arrived around 2 in the afternoon when the tide was on it's way back out. With my toe tapped up and now my wrist I paused while suiting up and questioned my conditioning and ability to surf the shifting chest high peaks.

My wrist injury stems from some months ago, I'd say six or more at this point, when I fell skateboarding with a belly full of Jack Daniels and then subsequently, a week or so later, preceded to do the exact same thing again to myself. I healed the wrist then by not surfing or skating (drunk) and though it took a few weeks it healed nice and I soon forgot about the injury. I have re-injured it this time around not because of some drunken tom-foolery but because of my steadfast appearance at the gym. During this sobriety I have also resolved to eliminate sloth by working out and surfing on a daily basis. And while pushing myself in the weight room I strained my wrist but I take no excuses at this point: I wrap it and continue to lift. Light weight, high repetition. Run at least a mile and a half every day I don't surf and even sometimes after I do. My diet has changed, hardly any more fast food, no post surf taco bell, no late to work Carl's Jr., and though at night while I walk into my dark house with a to go container of Ahi Tuna or Swordfish I crave an addiction or vice I am learning to take solace in how good I feel.
I stood on the shore, facing the breakers, my feet sinking into the sand by the current ripping sand away from my feet and wondered how I would fare this day, in this spot where some three months ago in December I was bested and my limitations exposed.

My arms seem to find deeper water than they have ever before and when paddling into a wave it was like some larger hand was guiding me over the cusp and giving me an extra push. Half way through the session I contemplated my body and my performance in the water. I took into account all the hard work I had done in the past month and how all that work was now showing it's result. I forgot how simple this equation is: The harder you work, the more you sacrifice, the more time and effort (no matter how much it hurts) you put in to bettering yourself the greater the result. It's simple. I think of this as a lesson and while bobbing out there in the surf I wonder at what point I had forgotten this lesson. Or if it wasn't at a complete loss then how I let it slip into that old chest of memories hardly ever opened.

With my blood pumping and my mind racing I thought once further into the equation and contemplated the lesson in regard to the mental. I thought much on Tayor and I's conversations of late, and for that matter the conversations I have with Lando as well. We talk often of the choices of school, jobs, women, and the result of our actions in regard to our futures. I glide a few feet up and then back down, up and then back down. I skip a set and paddle out a bit further. How different, I think to myself, are our minds from our bodies and why is it that we segregate the tangible (our bodies) from the intangible (our minds). Today, I continue to myself, I have seen and felt the proof of what my sobriety, my workout, my diet and my surfing in less than favorable conditions has given way to and that is the tangible. So why is it that the mental is so hard to grasp? Is it that exercise and strengthening repetitions for the intangible are coded differently or is it as simple as we just don't understand how to recognise such growth for we are conditioned to only perceive growth as a physical attribute as in the muscles in my arms or my shoulders?

I surf my last wave in with a smile on my red sunned face, and still I didn't quite have the answer of the duality of the mind vs. the body but I also didn't feel like I had to define the two autonomously anymore. For at this period of my life, be it even this month or this season, I feel that the two are growing stronger and fusing together like a muscle ripped and frayed in exertion that will mend together to be stronger still. And I walked barefoot through the sand, felt it's warmth in the cold March winds and thought that maybe this is the answer: maybe we're not supposed to disenfranchise the two, but rather their usefulness is reached when they're connected.

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