The Surfboard, the Ocean, and I

For the first time in my life, I attempted to surf. An official Hawai’i resident now, I could no longer resist the beckoning of its waves. Prior to my friend picking me up, I decided to watch beginner surfing instructional videos on YouTube. I said to my friend, “My goal for today is to catch waves in the prone position.” Little did I know one of the biggest challenges for me, would be to stay on my board.

My friend picked a spot he thought would be good for beginners. He prepped the surfboards and soon we were ready to greet the ocean. With surfboard in hand, I walked into the water and laid it down. A mixture of excitement and nervousness coursed through me. I tried to jump on the board, but lost my balance and tipped over. I looked so clumsy with my arms and legs flailing about, but I refused to let embarrassment keep me from trying. After about two more attempts, I was able to get on my surfboard. And then, as I started to paddle out, I tipped over. I paddled out some more and tipped over again. And again. And again. At one point, I hugged the board so I wouldn’t tip over. Paddling is a lot more challenging than it looks. It  requires you to be centered on the board, not too far up or too far down, and to adjust your hips to maintain balance. Ah, the wisdom the surfboard shared with me today about balance.

I spent the rest of my time in the ocean paddling, balancing, tipping over, and getting toppled by the waves. Perhaps twice I rode a wave-once while in the prone position; the other while seated on a paddleboard.

After about two hours of in the water, I was exhausted, and decided it was time to call it a day and paddled back to shore. This time though, I didn’t struggle. I got into a nice rhythm and gently came up on shore.

Will I attempt surfing again? Absolutely! And I will probably try paddleboarding as well.

Is there a sport or skill you’ve been wanting to learn or refine? Go for it! You can do it! Have a great week friends!

L: The "professional" shot. LR: Me paddling. UR: The view when we first arrived.

L: The “professional” shot. LR: Me paddling. UR: The view when we first arrived.


About Magaly L.

Five Facts About Me: 1. I was born in El Salvador, grew up in NY, and after being in the United States for almost 33 years, I finally became a citizen in 2013. I was super excited when I voted for the first time! 2. My personal favorites: chocolate, desserts, dancing, the beach, leisure travel, reading, juicing, gardening, cooking, spending time with family, and writing. I really do love chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate, but any chocolate is better than none. I also love red velvet cupcakes from my favorite bakery in NYC, Two Little Red Hens on the Upper East Side. And I love spending time in nature. There's something so peaceful about listening to the birds or listening to the waves break, that centers me in the present moment and reminds me that Divine order is at work in my life. 3. I come from a large family and I love it! My parents, two brothers, one sister, LOTS of cousins, aunts, uncles, abuelos, and my "gotitas de amor"-my nieces and nephews. 4. I am an educator both by training and at heart. 5. I have been living with PNES (psychogenic non-epileptic seizures) since 2007. Though this condition has been life-altering and challenging to live with at times, it has also led me to a more fulfilling life, strengthening my faith and helping me have the courage to pursue my passions and chase a couple of dreams.
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