I’ve been a life-long non-athlete, so what was I doing out in the ocean, body board in hand, with those huge waves pounding mercilessly towards the shore and me!? It was all at the urging of friends who said enthusiastically, and with entirely too much good cheer for my liking, “Try it. It’s fun. You’ll love it.”
“Yeah, sure, right, whatever you say.” I’d been in the ocean a few times. I knew how small I felt up to my neck in the water, the waves looming on the horizon. I knew how scared I was as they crashed over me. I knew how wildly I scrambled for shore, abandoning the water for the gentler, not to mention safer, pursuit of sea glass hunting. But, I persisted, and with the patient and cheerful coaching of my friends, learned to body board.
“Way to go,” they shouted, with each successful ride. “Way to go,” I echoed with the thrill of the second and third push that whipped me into shore. Zoom. Zoom. Zoom.
“Why aren’t you catching the waves?” my friends asked as we stood in the water with our boards a few weeks later.
“They’re not big enough.” Laughter erupted around me. I laughed with them. The cool exhilaration of boarding—an incredible gift from my friends.