Why Top 45?

These are the things that float to the top of my list of activities that I want to do for the year 2012 when I am 45 years old. The list is comprised of things that I have either never tried or have wanted to try and just didn't have the courage or time to do it. Follow along and watch my progress and feel free to comment or add words of encouragement to help keep me going for the next 365 days!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

World Champion

    A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to Southern California to work on two of my list items and get a little break from work and relax.   No, I didn't instantly become a world champion surfer, but my surf instructor Alisa Schwarzstein-Cairns _is_ a world champion and legend in the surfing world.  You can read about her here, here, and here.  Special thanks to my cousin, Fabiola for introducing me to Alisa because she was the perfect instructor for me.  Alisa didn't waste a lot of time grilling me on popping up on my board on the beach nor did she take too much time instructing me on how to recognize when a wave is good to catch because she was going to do that for me.  She either did none of the above because a) she knew I was a quick learner or b) she didn't think I had a chance of getting up and staying up and didn't want to waste our time.

Surf Kooks!
     After wiggling and giggling myself into the wetsuit and swim booties and the requisite (according to Christianne) photo in front of the 'kooks' sign we were off to the beach.  The biggest thing that struck me on the descent to the water, was the image of about 20 surfers floating about 10 yards out in the water gazing out to sea watching for the perfect wave.  They looked like sea lions popping up through the waves as bad ones rolled by them.  I must admit it caused me a little bit of anxiety thinking about trying get up on the board around so many people, but that feeling quickly passed when I remembered that I would be out there with Alisa.  She went over the key points again, including that when I fall, the best way to go down is with my butt first.  A round of hugs to Fab and Christianne and we were off.  Masters swimming practice definitely helped with the paddle out as well as the pull up on the board.
     On the first attempt, Alisa told me to turn and start paddling quickly.  I did as I was told and suddenly received a huge push from behind, tried to pull up on the board and promptly fell.  In my head I was thinking, "Man, I thought I was doing great paddling myself, but that Alisa is so powerful coming from behind to push me."  After a couple more tries and falls....

Hang Ten!!!!
....I GOT UP!!!!!
   I can totally see why surfing can become addicting and it is probably a good thing that I don't live on the west coast because I would be out there watching for waves to ride like those 20 others.  It was truly exhilarating and exciting and just so much fun.  I could have gone on forever, but after about 2 hours and several successful rides, my body just wouldn't let me paddle out anymore and we called it a day.

Alisa and Me after surfing

Thanks to Fabiola for introducing me to Alisa, for Alisa and for Christianne my cheerleader and photographer.  The end of the day was enjoying a glass of wine, watching the Olympics with Fabiola and Chuck, and getting to watch the sunset of Laguna Beach from the balcony chez Kinder.

Laguna Sunset

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