Thursday, October 28, 2004

Session 4.210: Confidence Building at OB

After the great session at Manresa, when I got home, I started to sneeze and then the my nose started to run. This was a bad sign, so I immediately took a vitamin C pill and also took a shot of Nyquil and went to bed. Monday morning, I was still feeling ill, but mostly felt like shook off the cold. I took it easy on Tuesday because of poor weather then Wednesday the swells have gotten bigger so I took another rest.

Now it is Thursday morning already and I could hardly wait to go out. We had a clear night, and thanks for that, we were able to enjoy the full eclipse of the moon. But this morning, I open the garage and the moon was now pale blue, and my breath was white? Yes, it is now starting to be like the winter down patrol time. I was glad that I already had the wetsuit on. Now, I quickly fill the water bottle with hot water, and drove towards the Jetty. But I needed some Coffee first.

Intending on going to the Jetty, I stopped at the Coffee shop in the Albertson shopping center, instead of the usual Montara. As I pulled into the parking stall, a white pickup track was approaching to my car dangerously close. Gosh, is this guy drunk or what? The track stops and window rolls down, and it was Darin from the Half Moon Bay surf shop! "Hey! Good morning. Darin!" I was happy to see his face in the darkness and the cold of the morning.
"How was the video?"
"Excellent! Thank you!"
"Half Moon Bay isn't good, I am going to work, finish with bills'n stuff. You should go to the Ocean Beach, man."
"Uh?.ah? Yes? OK?"
"OK! Have fun, man!"

So this morning's destination was decided by this local surf shop owner.

As the sun started to burn the sky, I was passing by Montara, and the ocean was throwing bunch of "A" frames here and there as if it is sticking out and rolling bunch of tongues. "Wow, this is going to be some day!"

As I was turning left on Sloat, and the ocean was vibrant. There were more waves than Montara or Linda Mar, but a lot whiter with bunch of white water inside, and people were surfing much further out. I get out of the car, and I was trying to decide if I should get out or not. As I was watching the ocean, somewhat familiar feeling came back for the first time in a few years. My stomach and guts started to freeze up a bit. I remember I used to feel this way when I started to surf at Linda Mar without having other friends with me.

Still the idea of surfing at OB scares me a bit, and so it is obvious to me that the internal fear is trying to convince me not to surf.

But, I've handled this kind of stuff at Montara or El Porto, so why should I be afraid of it at this location. So I fully armored myself with a hood and a glove just in case I had to battle a long way back, and went in.

As I hit the beach, there was one surfer caught inside not getting out, and another guy totally gave up and came back in.

In spite of the cold air, the water was not cold, especially on my fully armored gear, and once I hit the water, all of the fear has gone out and smile has came back to my face. The water was rough, but I was handling it ducking over and through. It was not that over-powering like some time in Montara, and the 7'5 Equalizer was helping lead my way.

I continued to play this morning out carefully, especially not re-kindle the cold, and stayed towards the inside, caught some waves, but not much, but I was definitely using this chance to build more confidence in this type of situation. I was being pushed down South so I opted to ride, walk up North, and paddle out again.

So today, it was a confidence building day, and as such, it really worked out.

After leaving the water, I watched some good surfers surf the outside breaks, and went back to work, thinking with a confidence that I will be out there not too far in the future from now. That thought made me really happy!

Stoke 6: I wish I had more guts!

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