Recently I was in Los Angeles with some pretty amazing team members: Teresa Duke and Amy Chandy.
And since we were in SoCal, we all agreed on two musts – good food and the beach. Ok, and ice cream. We took a walk down to Manhattan beach and out onto the pier. As we were taking in the amazing weather, the incredible sun, and the ocean breeze, I noticed something.
There were three guys on short boards just floating in the water. As they floated for at least five minutes, I though to myself, maybe this is the new way to hang out. Grab a board and a wet suit and just…..float. I kept looking at the water and the rolling waves didn’t seem like they would produce enough to push a milk jug to shore, much less surf on.
Closer to shore there was a young boy playing in the water behind the surfers. He was quite happy with the very small waves that he was playing in. The smile on his face couldn’t have been removed with a crowbar…or something less violent that still makes the point.
Then all of a sudden they started getting ready. When I looked out at the water, it sure didn’t look any different than it had for the last five minutes. One of the guys turned around on his board as if a Tsunami was headed his way. Me, still dumbfounded at the concept. But then it happened, out of nowhere a wave formed large enough for him to surf!
He got up and started carving when he noticed the little boy behind him and had to drop out of it. But he was surfing, if only for thirty seconds! I continued to watch the surfers as they watched the waves. A few minutes later, another decent size wave showed up.
What amazed me was, looking at the waves with my untrained wave watching eyes, I thought these guys were just wasting time. But what did I know? As I stood there, I thought of you guys and sharing what I was learning.
- Just float in the water – It’s ok to not be moving at the speed of light every minute of every day. Even when you’re in the process of doing something. I think so many people are frustrated with fishing because the ROI isn’t instant. Apparently sometimes it’s the same way with surfing. Grab some friends and just float in the water.
- Experience matters – Only guys who have studied the waves would know what to look for. Me, not so much. I looked at them and thought they were silly. Who’s the silly one now? (Said in sarcastic tone.)
- Carve it up! – When the right wave finally comes, turn your board and ride that bad boy. Don’t miss out on the opportunity.
- Be aware – Sometimes people or things get in our way and crush our great ride. (You can tell I’m not a surfer.) When that happens, drop off and start all over again. No point in allowing it to ruin the high of the moment. There’s another wave in a few minutes.
I definitely have to say that the walk on the pier turned out to be considerably more valuable than I would have imagined. Plus, I’ve come to realize, I definitely need to learn how to surf!
Question: How many times have you missed the wave completely?