Surfing 20110621

Today I parked near the Jack-in-the-Box that's right off Warner. I walk from there all the way to the other end. Using google maps, I determined this walk is about 2.5 miles. I walked back along the beach to where the surf school was set up. I determined that was about half a mile. The sky looked gloomy, and during my walk, I was debating whether or not I should surf. But when I got to the tent, I decided I would surf, at least just a little, or at least paddle and stay warm. I signed in at 11 AM, put on a wetsuit, and grabbed a longboard.

What had me worried was that all the surfers I saw during my walk were wearing full length wetsuits, so I figured it must be cold out in the water. But someone had told me as I was signing in, prior to getting in the wetsuit, that the water was actually warm. Even warmer than the air, which until that point, I didn't realize, but the air was in fact fairly warm. This was good, because yesterday, despite being warm, was rather cold. On a different note, the dude also told me to remember to shuffle my feet, because there were definitely sting rays around. I recalled during my walk somebody talking about one of his friends getting stung, and after I finished surfing, I heard one of the students had gotten stung. When I asked what happens if I get stung, the instructor said to just tell someone and he/she will take you over to the lifeguard station to get it treated. Luckily I didn't run into any rays.

In any case, the water was warm. I also had my gloves on, so my hands didn't freeze like yesterday. Yesterday, my hands tingled as they regained sensation for the longest time. At least as long as the ride home.

I laid the board down and practiced two or three pop-ups. Then I headed out to the water. By chance, the first wave, and arguably the only wave, I caught I stood up and rode with great fun. A kid who'd been surfing for about six years saw me catch the wave and said it looked pretty good. I remain skeptic about how good it really looked, but I suppose I do tend to learn quickly. Afterwards, there were several waves I tried to catch, but failed to catch. And the last wave for which I called it a day was one that I didn't see coming. My nose was pointed to shore, and the next thing I knew, the wave was pushing the board forward. It happened suddenly and I don't remember if I tried to stand or not. But I do remember taking an unexpected plunge. Nature is wild.

I signed out a little after 12 noon. The two-mile walk back didn't seem as bad as the walk coming, perhaps because the sun was poking out from the clouds. It took about 45 minutes, I didn't time it exactly. I was definitely tired afterwards. I don't know if you know the sensation I'm referring to, but I mostly feel the tiredness in my mind, not the body. It's the feeling you get when you're trying to pay attention in class, but your eyes just close and you're ready to fall asleep. You barely prevent yourself from falling asleep, or perhaps the next thing you know, you wake up with drool on your shirt, desk, and/or arms. It's the dangerous feeling you might feel after a long day of work and you're driving home ready to fall asleep. Note: Drowsy driving is bad, it's best to pull off the road and take a power nap. In any case, the total five-mile walk and hour of surfing definitely gave me this feeling. I took a nap in the car before heading home.

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