Surfing the wind
I’m writing this in response to (yesterday’s) Daily Prompt:
“Apply yourself: Describe your last attempt to learn something that did not come easily to you.”
Once upon a long ago I decided to try my hand at a spot of wind surfing. I know the Daily Prompt mentions “your last attempt”, but I honestly can’t think of a more recent example. I haven’t really tried to learn anything recently apart from computer stuff for my job, and that isn’t so hard to pick up.
The thing about wind surfing is that it’s a physical activity, and the thing about me is that I’m more a watch TV, play video games and read books kind of a guy. That’s what made this so hard.
A chap from work (I was working in Cork, Ireland at the time) announced that there were a couple of places going on a beginners’ wind surfing course nearby. In a moment of madness, I signed up!
We started in a test board on dry land. I fell off.
We progressed to a proper board on the water. I fell off. A lot.
The water wasn’t particularly deep. In fact you could stand up and keep your head above the surface.
Here’s my modus operandi when I fall – whenever possible, when I feel myself falling off something, I jump. This is an attempt to keep some control over the fall. When I fall into water, I pull my legs up under myself so that they don’t hit the bottom (which I can’t see and therefore have no wish to land on). These are instinctual reactions.
Therefore, falling off the wind surfing board always involved getting completely wet, as I always ended up completely submerged. In one notable incident, the sail came down on top of me, resulting in a nasty lump to the head.
The highest point of the day was actually getting on the board and sailing off. I was so excited that it was finally happening that I didn’t want to stop and the people on shore watched as I got smaller and smaller, headed out into the bay. It’s easy to stay on once you’ve got going as you have the sail to hang on to. Turning around wasn’t something I could do as it involved a complicated shuffling around the sail.
Finally I jumped off in an attempt not to go out to sea. The water was very deep and very cold. Eventually I managed to get back on and I kept going until I crashed into the shore.
I’m not sure I’d do it again, but I’m glad I tried it. It was way outside my comfort zone (my comfort zone only includes “things I’ve done before”), but I gave it a go and I had my one successful sail. Something to add to my (small) list of life experiences!