During my life, I’ve participated in many single sports. Rock climbing, bicycle racing, scuba diving, and cross-country running have tested and trained me; the purest of all is surfing.  The most intense of the different types of surfing is body surfing. Let me explain. The power of the waves comes all the way across the ocean.  When the depth of the water lessens at the shore the waves rise up. When you “catch a wave“ you are merely matching the speed at which the wave approaches the shore with yourself.

Board surfing requires paddling, standing and moving across the face of the wave using its power. For body surfing, you have to be in just the right spot, match the velocity of the surge, and then become one with the wave.  That speed can be very fast, maybe as much as 25 miles per hour.  It can be so fast that the skin on your body ripples the way a riprap, dirt road gets that washboard effect out in the country.   As you become part of that force, which has come thousands of miles, everything else in the world goes away. It’s just you and the wave.

Many of the things that plague us on this globe are not a part of this experience. You don’t envy someone else’s temporary ownership of a good wave because he or she was in the right spot at the correct moment. A good wave can’t be accumulated, stolen, purchased, or rented; it can only be experienced and then remembered.  The endless supply of waves is only diminished by the finite number of days in which you can experience them during your lifetime.

I’ve climbed the flat irons in Boulder, I’ve race down Palomar Mountain on a bicycle, I’ve run competing in a Hare and Hounds with Jim Ryun.  I’ve hunted and fished, but no other sport has provided the pure pleasure and lack of worldly woes as body surfing.  I wish I could have the same kind of pure attitude about the other parts of my life; the focus brought on with the unity of what God created in the ocean.

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