September 27th, 2007:
Believe it or not, I had an epiphany on the flight from Vancouver to LAX today – and it was watching the animated feature ‘Surf’s up’ ( surfing animated penguins…) and not even off my own Air Canada seat entertainment monitor (mine wasn’t functional) – it was off the person to in front of me (had the upgrade to Exec…)
So…. no audio, just where I was at in my head and watching the visual story only – funny how if a story is told well enough, and animations are all about the picture, you can follow it… Ok, Surf’s up, pretty generic story line – could tell you the ending and the middle even before I saw the beginning, but what I didn’t’ know or couldn’t perceive was the effect it would have on me, today, September 27th 2007 enroute to the ’40 year to Glory’ Baja legends Event.
Ok, granted I had a couple glasses of wine on the flight and a little burnt out and no idea where I stand in this word right now… Poor Sonja who graciously accompanied my on this grand adventure … who knew I would only have 4- hours sleep a night for the past 2 weeks working this Dakar Proposal graphics…
I sat and already was affected by my own reflection of where I am, where I want to be and what I have already achieved – but that age old question “all for what?”
Watching Surf’s up, I was watching the segment where the young penguin wanna-be surfer great, was making his own board with the greatest surf penguin ever having taken his side…
It hit me like a brick that no matter who is at your side, in the end, you pick the wave and you must ride it alone. Others can be on the same wave, but in the end, it’s your cut, your edge, your path that you and only you can ‘surf’.
It’s how you look at it that either destroys you or lifts you up and carries you in to shore – that simple… just like learning to surf – you start at the small sets, learn , let others teach you, watch those that you admire and fantasize about emulating….
One day – talent, tenacity – you and only you will ever be the one to take that next wave – that next set that is bigger and on a different beach that may or may not have sharks, urchins, reefs – it’s that setting out to see where that next wave will be the perfect one for that moment… the perfect set isn’t something you can make happen – it’s something that is in the course of nature.
You can only prepare, train, locate and wait for that ‘perfect set’ and in the end, it is only you that is on the board, paddling out and sitting, waiting in the undulating waters. Surrounded by other’s waiting both in the waters and those watching from the beach sands, it is you that navigates and chooses which wave is perfect for you and what the timing will be.
You watch – you wait – you see it – it looks like it is the one – you paddle, getting up to speed to catch the crest of this massive wave of energy… you can still duck out, or you paddle your heart out and let go of the images of getting tossed and scraping in the corals hidden far below the surface… You and your board are alone on the wave – only you and your board will navigate and risk falling, tumbling, drowning for that one chance that you are now ready for the next ‘big wave’.
You have earned the right to surf with those that you have been watching, waiting to share that one wave with… Share the respect and the wisdom of the secrets of this wonderfully insane thing called life and living passionately, experiencing everything and anything that has been laid out as a gift before us.
I realize that even though I dream of a team to pursue and enjoy life both personally and professionally, I know that I have my own sets and waves that only I can ride – that sometimes I will pick the 1st wave where others will pick the 2nd and also that sometimes those I my life will take that wave that right now is just a little over my head, but watching them inspires me – lends me to believing that all that is a possibility and a future reality for me and my board.
And that board? it’s something that starts out generic, but over time gets hand crafted…. Something that becomes me and it a part of me to the point that it is an extension of me. It alone has been where I have been, knows the secrets I have known and has always been there and carried me even long after I have fallen.
That, in the end, was my epiphany. Me, a board, a wave and everyone else that has jumped into the same ocean.
In the end, work hard – do the work, but share and celebrate with all those others that have jumped into the waters and wait along with you for the next great wave. Encourage them, celebrate with them and most of all let them go play and without a thought, leave them all behind to be inspired by your own unstoppable passion and impulse to take THAT wave that is coming – YOUR perfect set.
Ride it – learn from it – get back out there and wait for it to come again. It only gets better and bigger.