Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What the body can learn

The water has been quite decent the last few days, so we've been out surfing every day. Waikiki is a great place to learn because it's filled with Really Bad Surfers. Actually, it's kind of dangerous because of that -- people who haven't learned control, or even enough to stop their boards if they are about to collide, are all over the place -- but at least you can be as bad as you want to be and not feel silly.

I'd first tried surfing about 6 or 7 years ago. One day, we were up at North Shore, so I took my borrowed board out into the waves. As I got out, the waves were getting HUGE, but isn't ignorance grand? I didn't even know enough to feel scared and (though I got bashed in the nose a time or two by my board) I was out there with the Big Boys. Of course, I couldn't catch any waves forever, and when I finally did, it was all I could do to get on my knees and ride the board, seiza-style, to shore.

Now we are here longer and I've been able to actually practice different things. I still suck big time, but it feels great to learn a new physical thing. I think as we get older, we continue learning new things but most of the physical things, we've already learned long ago -- walking, riding a bike, swimming, skiing, hang-gliding, wind surfing, rollerblading... So it's been several decades since my body had to learn anything really new. (Variations of already learned motions, such as dancing, don't really fall into this category.) It's really interesting to learn a new "feel." Being out in the water, surfing, is nothing like how it looks from the land. And there are all new things to learn about balance, position, etc. It's also a completely different feel from boogie boarding, which is just as fun but a bit easier, I think.

Friends from high school can't believe I've turned into such a jockette. I was such a physical disaster in my teens, no one wanted to pick me for their teams. Everyone thought I was just the most uncoordinated person ever, but after high school, I realized I had great coordination. I just didn't do well at team stuff. I hated being in a team, working as part of a team. I think something inside me wanted to sabotage the group effort. Once I got to do things on my own, though, everything became fun again. Guess it's the Lone Wolf Syndrome.

And finally, a photo from my Japanese version blog. We were out at Diamond Head when we first got here and there were these 2 pretty good female surfers. They really blew me away when they walked by me, though, because they turned out to be mother and daughter. From afar, they both looked like young women. Wow.

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