This I Believe

tommy - healdsburg, California
Entered on March 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that if individuals participate in something that they passionately enjoy everyday of their lives, it will make them a better and more productive person in society. My passion is to be in the ocean every day. If the waves are not cooperating, then I would be content either sponging, body surfing, or skimming on the sand. I believe that surfing is a form of mediation and it relieves stress. It is communing with nature; participating in a medium that is unstable and constantly changing; continuously challenging my physical and emotional being. I believe that I’m a better person after being out in the ocean for a few hours and therefore a more productive person in society, making society a better place. I believe every time I go into the water I come out in a much happier, relaxed, and more tolerant mood.

Every time I stretch my black and orange full suit on I get a rush that starts at my head, slowly rolls down my neck, then bolts throughout my body like electricity flowing through a circuit. When I zip my Xcel across my chest I usually look up at the horizon hoping I see hollow, deep, and fast waves barreling off of the jetty. As quickly as possible I bend over and whip my leash around my left ankle, pick up my board from the warm sand and sprint to the white wash. I then paddle out to the line-up waiting for the perfect wave. Just sitting on my board with my legs dangling in the water makes me very content, peaceful and relaxed. I hear someone yell, “Outside” and there’s a rush of adrenaline pumping through my veins and we paddle as fast as we can toward the massive swell. Using an eggbeater kick underneath my board, the nose whips toward the sandy shore. Pushing back on the tail of my board, for a little boost of speed, I paddle as fast as I can to catch the wave. As it peaks, I feel my board lift, and I pop up. No wave is alike, but all of them give you a rush like a pelican gliding across the water in search for fish. I ride the wave in, eager to catch another and another. It’s like an addiction and you always want just “One more.” You can never ride enough. When your shoulders ache so badly and you can barely lift your arms, that feel like water logged noodles, out of the water, you still paddle as hard as you can to try to catch another wave. As different as each wave is, the rush, thrill and excitement is always the same. When I get out of the water, I feel so pumped, so excited yet so relaxed, I’m ready to face the day, no matter what it brings my way. I believe that no matter what the passion is, if a person does what they passionately enjoy, as often as they can, and they can walk away feeling as good as I do after surfing a few hours, then our society would be a happier, more tolerant, and hopefully less violent place to live. This is what I believe