Sunday, January 9, 2011

Undaunted Chapter 3: Learning to Fall

 If you made sure to ignore all of life’s challenges, you may go through it without ever falling, but in doing so you accept that flying will always be absent from your reality.
    I have tried to exclude falling from my surfing and my life. I push myself to new places that are in close proximity to the ones I am coming from; places that I am comfortable with because of their perceived rate of success.
    I realized this while I was surfing in Samoa. As I surfed I pumped down the transforming face of the wave. A white wash section appears ahead. As the wave I am riding folds over onto the now shallow surface it begins to break in front of me as well as behind me. I want to hit that closing section in front of me really hard, but I don’t want to fall. If I fell I would feel like this ride wasn’t successful. I bottom turn in front to the wave’s face, looking for that falling lip. As I spot it, my body compresses. My toes curl into the wax, my knees bend, my left arm leads, my right arm follows. 
    My board and I rise to greet the lip.  My head turns to spot the landing as my arms turn to the beach. My heart wants to me to turn harder. My heart wants to test my body to see what I am made of. My head wants my body to complete the turn without falling. I listen to my head. The turn is a success, or is it? 
    I used to think falling kept doors closed, kept me out of a world filled with answers, attainment, progress, joy. One morning I woke up and realized that without falling, I would never truly fly (both figuratively and literally, if I'm even thinking about learning to do an air). The truth is, falling is the key to the locked door that holds success. So these days, I'm learning to fall.


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