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Surfing Legends and Ten-Foot Waves

Surfing legend Nat Young had some words of wisdom as we were surfing together out at “The Lane” in Santa Cruz last weekend.  Head-high to ten-foot surf was heading through and it was fairly crouded.  Nat said to me “There is really one perfect place to catch a wave. Where the energy aligns with where you are.  You see all these people around here that don’t know what the heck they are doing.  It’s very important that on your way down the wave you breath out on the way up the wave you breath in.  There is a rhythm to it.  There is an energy and peaceful rhythm that connects you with the ocean and connects you to being present. There are a lot of guys who go out there and just charge go go go and they don’t take in the pure essence, the beauty, the passion, and the love that surfing has to offer.”

So me being a sponge for any words of wisdom that a legend like Nat had to share, I saw a huge set coming in of ten-12 foot and what do you know . . . I was in that perfect space.  When I went down the wave I was breathing out, and when I went up the wave I was breathing in.  When I got off the wave about 50-75 yards later, I sat there and thought, “I have never felt that on a wave.”  I have never been that present to really recognize my breathing on every up and down on the wave.  Feeling th energy, connecting in a sport I truly love and am passionate about. 

Thank you Nat. It reminds me of a story I once heard and it’s a story about a young bull and an older and mature bull up on a hill looking down over hundreds of young female cows.  And the young bull being all excited says to the mature bull “lets run down the hill and hop on one of the heffers.”  Excited and gitty as all get-out.  The older and mature bull says “Why don’t we walk down the hill and hop on them all?”

As I think back to my sport in football, and as I think about the wisdom Nat and the mature bull shared.  As a young impressionable line-backer in the NFL, all I wanted to do was run all over the place and hit anything that moved.  When I truly got to where I understood my position and everyobody elses positions around me and where I fit in within the team, I realized that as a young pup I truly had no clue about what I was doing.  And only as I matured and I learned my roll not as only as a linebacker and a leader did my career start to take off.

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