Name it and Claim it: 2013 – The Year I Become a Surfer
Posted Nov 16 2012 3:00am
Since becoming an Oakley Women’s Brand Ambassador, I have been following Oakley Dispatch on pretty much all social media platforms. Oakley Dispatch is a Surfing and lifestyle documentary based around the world class talent that makes up the Oakley Surf Team.
Following along this incredible journey has made me fall in love with the sport of Surfing. Meeting and spending time with professional Surfer Erica Hosseini during the Oakley Women’s Ambassador retreat in Napa didn’t help matters much… Not only was she one of the most rad and down to earth chicks I’ve ever met, she also had so much passion about the sport that I couldn’t help get the itch to dive into it myself!!
Since then, I have been studying surfing like it’s my job. I just can’t get enough of it!! The Surf Science, Theory and Culture just pulls me in and there is no more denying it.
…my bookshelf has gotten a little full of used surfing books. Who knew there were so many great ones on Amazon?
I have decided 2013 is going to be the year I become a surfer. I know that it’s hard because I live in Central Texas, where I am utterly land-locked. However, in the Spring and/or Summer I am heading to Surf Camp in Hawaii! I’m also heading to South Padre Island in the spring for lessons. I’m not kidding when I say I am going to become a surfer next year.
I have surfed twice in the past. Both times I spent a majority of my time smacking the water and just paddling around on the board. The first time was in the Bahamas in 2009 and the second time was while I was living in Florida during a trip to Miami with my boyfriend at the time. In the Bahama’s we didn’t exactly have a formal lesson. We just kind of had fun with our leashed boards that we rented and played around. In Miami we did take a 2 hour class with a bunch of other tourists and mostly practiced on land and in “white water” next to shore. I don’t think I stood up for more than 15 seconds max. It was still a complete blast, and was incredibly freeing. It’s amazing what the open water can do for your mind. It was a wild feeling…. Even if I wasn’t very far out into the water at all.
I already have a few basic things down that are helpful when starting out as a surfer. I have some endurance in me from the last two years I’ve spent running, I also have pretty decent balance, thanks to the 13 years of gymnastics under my belt… But, those aren’t the only important pre-requisites for surfing.
Over the next five months I will be diligently working on my swimming, yoga, and core work. As well as still running, of course. Getting into surfing, I have no intentions of replacing my running with it. I will always be running.
I can do a mean doggie paddle, I can do the breast stroke.. I can definitely swim, just not very gracefully or fast. Any swimmer with a day of training under his or her belt would be ashamed that I even call my ability to stay above water and move forward, SWIMMING! I will be focusing on the front crawl/freestyle especially. Gotta be able to paddle out and survive the waves if and when you fall off the board! Honestly, THIS is my biggest fear with surfing. I don’t mind the open water, I don’t mind the huge waves. I don’t mind falling off the board and smacking the water hard.. I am worried about being able to make it back to my board and/or shore after being pulled under. It’s a wee bit frightening to think about. Yes, beginners usually surf with a leash.. But, it’s only a convenience factor. It is not a guarantee and one day, the leash will be taken off or broken. So swimming is my #1 priority.
I’m off to my first “Charlotte’s Prep for The Year of Surfing” yoga class this morning at Dharma Yoga. This will also be my first class in Austin!!! I’m really looking forward to it. I miss yoga classes. I do videos frequently at home, but there just isn’t the same buzzing meditative energy at home as there is in a packed class.
Maybe one day I’ll even get to shred some waves with the athletes who live love and train at the Oakley house in the North Shore in Hawaii