Multiple Pursuits, One Path

Michael - Merrick, New York
Entered on September 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: nature, sports

To put it simply, I should’ve been born with gills. Anything and everything to do with the ocean, I simply cannot live without. Whether it was my Bar-Mitzvah theme, “Life’s A Beach,” or my uncanny obsession with swimming and boogie boarding, I always found pure bliss within the ocean. Growing up in a suburb just forty-five minutes outside of Manhattan, on the South Shore of Long Island, I was deeply immersed in the culture of living on the bay: Boating with friends and family, jet skiing in my buddies back yards, Forth Of July BBQ’s, or concerts at Jones Beach everything and anything revolved around the ocean. Something was missing though, for all my love of the ocean, I always felt like there was something more, that potentially the place I found the majority of my enjoyment could also be a source of solace in a world of overwhelming interconnectivity. Then, I discovered the sport of kings, surfing.

In any given day, I see multiple advertisements for pills, claiming to cure your daily woes, get rid of anxiety, help you get in shape, relax, and enjoy life. It’s almost a shame someone hasn’t turned these patients onto the only real cure-all I believe in, Surfing. For any of you guys and girls out there with a cell phone, especially that of an IPhone or Blackberry, can understand where I am coming from when I say, sometimes being so connected, all the time, is overwhelming. Jumping in my car, turning off my phone, and running across the dunes to the ocean, board in hand, and I forget about it all. For a while, I find solace surrounded by nature, wrapped up in her beauty, forgetting all of the mechanical appendages that surround me, just north of the dunes.

While I must admit, I am fully immersed in today’s technological culture; I do still enjoy getting off of the couch. Exercising and staying healthy, matter heavily in my life. As many of you can attest, going to the gym can be a drag. Whether it’s the gorgeous summer day you’re missing outside, or the wait line for the machine of your choice at the gym, it just doesn’t quite cut it. This is where the beauty of surfing’s multiple personalities come into play. Ask Phelps; paddling around is no easy feat. It takes heaps of endurance to paddle for hours on end. The sheer distance of ones paddling doesn’t even take into account natures power and the whole “one more wave,” mentality, many, if not all surfers have. Your body endures vigorous full bodywork out; strengthening your lower and upper body, while increasing your heart rate and therefore burning calories.

At the end of the day, the pursuit of happiness reins supreme as my reason for pursing a lifestyle filled with surfing. There is nothing more enjoyable to me then the glide, wether it be choppy and rampy, or hollow and barreling. No spiritual confession compares to the enlightening moments of taking the drop on a big day. Nothing compares to the thrill of the unknown, traveling hours to places you’ve never gone, trails you’ve never walked, to find perfect waves or running over the dunes at your home break to see it going off. It must be hard for any of you who have yet to try the sport of kings, to understand the sheer magnitude of my affection for it, however I’ll gladly take you all out for your first ride, and you’ll see, you’ll see.