After the preliminary lesson on the sand paddle, paddle, and then pop up, our instructor Dale told us we were ready for the water. We paddled into a calm area to practice letting the waves roll over us. I got stuck and panicked, taking in a gulp of water.
We were ready for the waves, Dale said. I was shaking and nervous but couldnt turn back. We paddled out to rougher waters and waited. Karla was a natural: Years of dance helped her balance and an inherent fearlessness didnt hurt. Now, it was my turn. As the wave began to swell I paddled with it like wed been taught. I popped up and proceeded to pop right off.
The instinct to exhale escaped me and I took in more water. When I emerged, there was another wave about to crash over me. And then another. I grabbed my board and held on tight, letting the oceans force push me to shore while fighting to keep my breath and my wits. It was the only wave I caught that day.
I think Ill stick to surf movies.