19 September 2017

Lessons from the Atlantic classroom

This weekend I learnt some things.

The first is that when you cast yourself into the Ocean’s swell for a surf, there’s no choice but to live in that moment.

Your life truly depends on it.

You survive through instinct, respect, trust and a letting go of all unnecessary thought.

There’s no time for indecision, ego or inauthenticity.

I know….I’ve got the dinged board and the split lip to prove it

Yep, as Eckhart Tolle would say, you need to be truly in ‘The Now’ when entering the water. You’re tuning in and entrusting yourself to something so powerful, your mind can’t even conceive it. Once you’ve experienced it though, you’re hooked. It’s something so huge, it blows your ego’s fear right out of the ocean – literally.

It’s primordial,
It’s instinctive.
It’s powerful.
And, it’s hugely addictive.

This power of living in the moment was also what I witnessed this weekend when I visited England’s first Adaptive Surfing Open at Watergate Bay, Cornwall. This inaugural competition was open to amputees, and those with spinal injuries and other physical conditions, as well as surfers with cognitive or sensory conditions.

For me, what united these men and women was that they had each made the choice to take life by the throat and live it. And when I say live it, I mean suck the passion out of every moment. No wave would be left unridden.

I saw strength, integrity, determination, and drive.
I saw passion, independence and sheer bloody mindedness.
I saw teamwork, community, smiles and friendship.
I saw life well and greatly lived.

Yep, this weekend reminded me that although none of us can truly be in control of what happens to us on this planet, we are in control of our day to day choices and mindset.

These surfers had decided that the only thing they were going to let define them, was their passion for the sea.

They had no limits.

They were making the choice to live in the moment.

And so, as I sat watching them from my Atlantic classroom, they were my teachers for the day.

Their lesson is one that I’m eternally grateful for.