Reader Stories

By Pamela Clark

Surfing has given me the ability to fail and to fail miserably with pride. There should be a small line of text on rental surfboards that notes those learning to surf after age 30 are due for years of upstaging by pre-adolescents, ungainly dismounts, unappealing smells (neoprene, etc) and an incursion of novel words into the personal vocabulary. Dude, quit dropping in on my copier space! Wait your turn, I’m collating here! Yeah, just what the bosses want to hear from once promising employees.

Surfing has given me the ability to not care about what my middle aged body looks like in neoprene, or that I smell a bit off , or that the eleven year old to my left is dropping cutbacks like crazy while I fall off the board just trying to trim with style. It’s OK- failure is the only way to progress. In nothing else in my life has failure been the way to progress, and finding this pleasure in surfing has been extraordinary for me.

I love to fail in surfing. Because, even in failing, I’m still in the ocean and progressing towards a goal. Surfing will remain in my life forever, while jobs will come and go. Thanks, surfing, for reminding me that practice does make perfect even if that practice takes decades.

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Last modified: February 24, 2012

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