Eager as a headlight on a northbound train While running on rubber through Steinbeck country Beneath greedy gray clouds Hoarding their stash of soothing rain
California is beautiful.
It hadn't been too long since I'd taken a drive up the California coast. A few months before I loaded my two high school aged sisters in the car and introduced them to Big Sur, Santa Cruz, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, tent camping, and 'smores over an open fire. Still, my energy had been focused on making sure they were having a good time, rather than quietly taking it in for myself.
On a cloudy Saturday morning I set off with a mug full of coffee, ipod full of new music, and an eager smile, looking forward to spending a long drive in the car solo.
My first destination, Los Gatos, to meet up with the Surf Stronger crew.
The boys at Surf Stronger have put together an innovative series of warmup, stretching, and workout tips and techniques specifically targeted to surfers that are available on their website. Definitely check it out! Their next project is a surfing specific workout using a new piece of equipment called the TRX.
Designed by a former Navy Seal captain who needed a way to keep the Seals in top phsyical shape while waiting to deploy, the TRX is a workout solution that is lightweight, totally travel-ready, and can be used anywhere to train the total body. Attach it to anything overhead, a tree, lifeguard tower, door, even an SUV roof rack, and you are ready to go.
They needed a test dummy for the video and I volunteered. I do not like to workout, but I figured it was a good excuse to take a road trip to San Francisco, so why not?
Luxury accommodations at the Nob Hill Motel.
Todd Walsh was nice enough to draw me a killer little map of the must-see sights in that part of the city. I was super stoked to find the Fields Book Store - "Soulful and scholarly books from the world's spiritual traditions" - definitely my kind of place. I spent about an hour inside and ended up walking out with an armload of books.
I didn't buy this one, and right now I am definitely regretting that. What was I thinking passing up a manual of practical teleportation and time travel? Damn!
San Franciscan sights... Fast forward to the following afternoon, in the TRX training center for the video filming.
Coach Scott Adams and I, verbally rehearsing.
It might not look like much, but the TRX provides a gnarly full body workout!
After six hours of filming and only a few exercises needing to be done over because I didn't "make it look hard enough" (it's not hard when you're having fun!) the whole crew was smiling.
The next morning with the job done and the schedule open, Todd Walsh volunteered to give me a walking tour of a few of the coolest places in the city.
I then took the opportunity to visit my Aunt and Uncle in Fremont and savor some of Uncle Gary's famous smoked meatloaf. Amazing!
After a night with family, I took the road South, choosing the 1 along the picturesque Big Sur coastline. Driving down a windy road lining fog-filtered cliffs Light reflecting Waves of emotion Breaking through the mist.
Next stop, my college roommate Katy Walker's home in Los Osos to sample her husband Brett's homebrew. Good stuff!
Finally, I stood on stage as a guest lecturer and told a class of UCSB Geology of Surfing class students about my trip to West Africa.
Professor Stuart Sweeney tried to talk me into hanging out and surfing Campus Point afterwards, but as you can see, it didn't look very enticing. So I got in the car and kept on driving South.
Quite a few empty mysto LA County nooks nearly inspired a paddle out, but after getting a call from a friend saying the surf at home was pumping, I raced back to the South Bay to find booming beachbreak windswell.
Excited to be home, I threw on my wetsuit, ran down to the beach and pushed through thumpy closeouts with tired muscles. The water was warm, salty, and invigorating. A couple of days later after the muscles fully recovered from that six hour workout, I felt stronger than I ever had before.
I don't like to workout, but I want to be surfing stronger and can no longer deny that working out is necessary sometimes. Fortunately with the TRX , it feels a lot like play.