A Day in the life of an Amateur Surfer

Sydney Joa

The alarm went off at 7 a.m. and I woke up immediately. It was finally Sunday. A smile crept upon my face. I got out of bed and started to get ready for surfing lessons. Every Sunday, for ten weeks, I take surfing classes at Boca Chica. Today was week six, and I was extremely excited. Surfing is my only escape from school, homework, and stress.  

“Good morning,” my mom said as I went downstairs. I personally don’t drink coffee, but my mom does and the smell of it quickly fills my nostrils. I made my breakfast – oatmeal – and dug into it right away. Both of my brothers – Hans, an eleven-year-old who I hate, and Chad, a four-year-old who I love – came downstairs and had breakfast with me.

Later on, we all piled into the car, along with my mom, and drove to Boca Chica. There was a very quiet and relaxing energy on the drive there. Chad and Hans fell asleep, and I alternated between reading a book and gazing out the window.

Once we got there, I got out of the car, took in the aromatic smell of the ocean and smiled, the birds chirped and the sun shone brightly. The waves crashed against the shore as we waited for my cousins to get there. They, along with Hans and I, took lessons. When they got there, we greeted the teacher, Rene; his wife, Nat; and their assistant, Pavel. They immediately had us practice our pop-ups – the way we stand – on some makeshift surfboards. They corrected our stances and we were ready to surf.

Each of us took our assigned surfboards and headed towards the beach. The sand enfolded my feet with every step I took. When the water touched my feet, it felt like drinking a fresh glass of lemonade after a hot summer’s day. It was very refreshing compared to having to wear enclosed and uncomfortable shoes at school all week. I placed my surfboard on the water and felt the waves weave under the surfboard. I got on it and started paddling deep into the ocean, sensing the saltwater splashing on my face. The waves crashed against us and I could taste the saltwater on my lips. ­

When we got to where we wanted, we all sat on our surfboards. We take turns catching waves, so as to not crash into each other. When it was my turn, I looked behind me, saw a small wave coming, and started paddling hard. I felt the wave building up, got that rush of adrenaline that you get when you have to act fast, and sort of stood up. I couldn’t seem to catch my balance and fell off after a couple of seconds.

When you fall off of your surfboard, you have to act fast. Big waves come towards you and push you. You have to put your surfboard parallel to the wave, get on it and start paddling to where the others are waiting. But sometimes, the waves are too strong and quick, and they push you multiple times and you can’t control it, so you just let them push you until you gain control and are able to get on your surfboard. Life is the same way. Life keeps on pushing you and throwing you down, but you have to get it together, gain control of the situation and keep on going.

I had to wait for many big and strong waves to pass before I could get on my surfboard and paddle towards where everyone was. It felt like going through a raging storm but I kept on paddling because I knew there was going to be sunshine and quiet on the other side.

I didn’t give up on my second wave. I felt the wave beneath my surfboard, and this time, I was able to gain balance and stood up. I shifted right on my surfboard and felt a refreshing breeze blow at me. For the first time in a couple of weeks, I felt free. Free of my problems, free of school, free of homework and stress. And just this same way, with these happy and positive thoughts, I continued surfing and catching waves until it was time to go.

I took a quick little shower at a small trailer that the teachers own. I felt the salt water and sand slowly wash off of me as I rinsed myself. Once I was done, I put on a clean change of clothes and waited for everyone to finish showering. We all said our goodbyes to the teachers and they reminded us to practice our pop-ups and stances every day. When we piled into the car, I realized I was starving and ate a huge snickerdoodle cookie. I tasted and savored every bit of that cookie and felt as it slowly filled my stomach. I could still taste a bit of saltwater on my lips and remembered I was coming back next week and couldn’t wait to see what new things I would learn.  

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