Surfing Through Life

You know that one thing that lets you “escape.” It’s what you think of when people ask what makes you happy, what you can do without worrying about paying your bills, your dreadful job, or never-ending schoolwork. For me, this thing is surfing. Living in the moment (e.g. surfing) is one of the most overlooked ways of achieving satisfaction and joy.

Especially in stressful times, it can be difficult to focus on the present. However, Blair Somerville invokes in his documentary, “Lost and Found,” “The most pleasure I get is the design phase, where I can just freestyle not having to worry about how it will come out and even have a giggle sometimes if the result is not as expected.” He is a perfect example of someone who is able to live life to the fullest by simply doing what he enjoys. Somerville doesn’t care about money, social status, or his reputation. He isolates himself in New Zealand’s South Island because he cares about making his machines and surfing. This relates to me because when I surf, I don’t think about anything except the wave that I’m on. I allow myself to get caught in the moment and “freestyle” as Somerville put it. This is what Somerville spends his days doing which makes him truly happy.

There are many other examples of humans accomplishing joy through the things they love. For instance, Josh Spencer commentates about how his bookstore is so successful at 10:08-10:25. He teaches us that he attempts to make it more “authentic” rather than “calculating.” This conspires with my philosophy because humans naturally need authenticity to feel accomplished rather than calculating how to make everything in their lives perfect. Surfing allows me to do just that because I don’t try to calculate how to score the best wave. Instead, I simply have fun and the outcome usually tends to be better than if I were to worry about the outcome as I surf.

Sometimes the most peculiar things can give us joy. We might not understand why, but it just does. The important thing is that we embrace it rather than dwelling on why it occurs. An example of this phenomenon is Godfrey Daniels and a phone booth. He suggests that “most of the time, it isn’t about the content, that’s really not the point. It’s just the connection and how that connection makes you feel” when talking about his experience calling a mysterious phonebooth in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Godfrey sets the example of chasing what he desires. It seems like such a miniscule thing, but by him researching this phone booth (that doesn’t affect him at all) rather than telling himself “I have more important things to do,” he is able to feel satisfaction and results in a memorable story to tell people. For me, I didn’t think I would like surfing. Funny enough, I was scared of the ocean before my dad convinced me to try surfing with his assistance. However, I can still recount the feeling of adrenaline and wind skiing across my face the very first wave that I ever caught. After that, I was hooked. And you know what, that’s okay because surfing gives me satisfaction and memorable stories to tell people.

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