I surfed every day, consecutively, for six and a half years.
I didn't miss a day, 2,359 days in a row.
I traveled to Kansas City for my grandfather's funeral and S.U.P.d Shawnee Mission lake. The flight back home to Califonia was delayed. I begrudgingly went out in the dark, only to be greeted by magnificent bioluminescence. The waves broke glowing blue, and I had the Milky Way on my wetsuit as I returned to shower off.
I visited my sister in Boston in January and paddled Revere Beach wearing ski mittens as my mom sat in the car with the heat on.
A waterman in our community was incarcerated. I surfed for him and for all the surfers that couldn't surf as often as me.
One session, I was kissed by a beautiful guy, one of the best surfers I'd ever seen, as we were both riding the same section side by side. He jumped on my board and held me as we rode it in, laughing.
It became more challenging in the winter when the days got shorter. But, I was spoiled, I could time my daily dip around my work schedule, and my cottage was 7 up from the beach.
Someone in my village called me "DAILY." When I hit 1000 consecutively surfed, a group of friends popped a bottle of champagne as I exited the water.
GETTING IT. An ineffable influx of knowledge. It bypasses the brain and goes straight through the eyes to the body. I get out of the way and the ocean pulls me where I need to go.
OUT THERE. My body rises to open my arms. My hands dig through the surface of the water. The rhythm sets in. Gravity and momentum signal the feet when to stand.
I RECEIVE. The Ocean wisdom, which my body absorbs.
I love to fly. I enjoy the balance study. I love to pump down the line, like a wild full-body dancer in her element.
Yes, please, more.
I moved to northern coastal California 15 years ago and asked a compatriot, what's the best way to learn how to surf? He said, go out every day. I made it a few months surfing daily, then cracked a rib. I started again. When I hit a year, I just kept going. I went out each day to receive and wrote each session in my tide log.
How did my streak come to an end? I honestly thought I could surf every day for the rest of my life. But, I tore my labrum in my hip. I teach ballet, and I needed surgery. I pre-dawn patrolled the morning I was scheduled to go under the knife, day 2,359. And, I subsequently kept 'getting in the water every day. Of course, sutures can't be immersed, walking had to be relearned, so I sat on a rock and put my feet in, my mermaid practice. I kept it going. For about three months, it was my jump-in.
I eventually was able to carry my board again, rehabbed my hip. Did I miss a day of the surf after this point? Many. Did I shift the language post-op so that I was still getting in the water every day; absolutely.
To quote the defunct local band, The Mushrooms, "The Ocean is Free - It is Always Open."
Bridget is a dance teacher, writer, surfer, and educator born in Baltimore, Maryland. She received a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Arizona. She danced professionally as a modern dancer with New Orleans Dance Collective and 940 Dance and was the dance critic for Review Magazine in Kansas City. She is currently studying Botany and working towards her Naturalist Certificate from the College of Marin.
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Beautiful Tide logs Pacific Publishers
Hearsay News: September 25, 2013
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