surf.

I've developed a voyeuristic interest in surfing and surf culture lately, spurred somewhat from the inspirational story of Bethany Hamilton in Soul Surfer, and have watched other films since then, such as Chasing Mavericks, Blue Crush and Beautiful Wave. Cheesier depictions perhaps, but good enough for me. I've researched the stories of these legends, and have been endlessly fascinated with the way they live their lives.

I was considering what interests me about it, since I've never surfed, and I'm not sure if I plan to. I'm a strong swimmer and have always loved the water. I love sailing and boating. I've bodysurfed plenty, mostly as a fearless kid with my Dad in the cold Atlantic ocean, and have felt the panic of being knocked down by sets of waves at a time, discombobulated, not knowing which direction is up. I've lost my bikini top as a teenager, crawling out of the water on my stomach, so embarrassed and awkward. I've waited, heart pounding, for my Dad's bald head to bob up in the water as a sign he is OK. I've lost my nerve as I've gotten older and have become more risk-averse for sure, opting to stay on the shore most times, or just getting wet.

Mostly though, I just have a love affair with the ocean. It is one of my most favorite places to be, where I feel so small, and yet incredibly grounded and peaceful. I love the color. I like hearing the waves and smelling the water and the salty sea air. Also there's such mystery and power in its vastness. It breeds adventurers and seekers. The fact that there are people who spend the majority of their time in the water chasing their bliss as a hobby is thrilling to me, and something I feel like supporting.

I picked up
surfer magazine recently, and I gotta say I love reading it. I actually know many of the names mentioned now and can understand and visualize most of the descriptive jargon. Seeing jaw-dropping photos of big wave surfers in their element is like art I want to hang on my wall. In fact, I've torn out a couple particularly breathtaking pages to stare at. Surfing world, please welcome your newest fan.

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