Australia, the island country, is a free-spirited land decorated with beautiful shorelines and amazingly good-looking surfers. I woke up everyday staring at the sunrise and listening to the waves crashing by my beach front apartment in Surfer’s Paradise, Australia.
Life in Australia revolves around leisure, which is unfortunately interrupted by work or university classes during daytime hours. My time away from responsibility comprised of fulfilling my dreams, which included scuba diving, surfing and obtaining my surfer’s six-pack abs.
One day a local Aussie decided to give me a surf lesson on the beach. The ‘lay on the board, push yourself up and jump into the surfer squat’ instruction seemed achievable. Eager to get into the water, I ran quicker than David Hasselhoff from Baywatch and plopped onto my board while the whitewash flipped me over face first into the ocean.
So surfing was not as easy as I thought. After some time struggling with the tide, I finally got to a point where I could ‘duck dive’ or nose dive the board (or my face) under on-coming waves. As an athlete my ego was put to shame as athletic pursuits on water drastically varied compared to on land.
We paddled to an area where the waves were not so frequent and sat on the boards. I gazed down into the non-visible water mentally freaking out about not knowing what was below my board. I turned my head to look at the oncoming waves.
I felt a sweep of something mysterious rub against my leg. Frightened, I screamed and pulled my legs out of the water. Embarrassed, I started to laugh as I realised the leash tickled my leg and not the great white shark I had imagined.
Surf was ‘near up’ as I paddled the oncoming wave. I felt the board pick up momentum with the swell and there I was, riding a wave in the most beautiful place in the world. Physically, my knees were glued on the board and mentally my mind screamed: “Get up! Get up!”
I was moving faster than the speed of the light and could not lift my body to a standing position. As the white wash approached there I plummeted, wrist first into the sand. But that didn’t stop me standing up, victorious and cheering.
I spent most of my time on the smaller waves, and practiced early morning while the surf was calm. Eventually, I landed on my feet after several rounds of practice. Although I did not excel like I’d hoped, I realised surfing was the reason why Australians can eat fish and chips and still look amazing.
After surfing, I sat on the beach and stared at the ocean with my board by my side. My board had a turtle on it, a significant creature I related to. Maybe I was a turtle who excelled at slowly swimming along the ocean floor? But one significant lesson learned while surfing; each time that board knocked me down, I would get up and try again – just like life!