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Surfing Your Way Through Life to Achieve Your Dreams

I stood up! I actually stood up on the surf board – and rode it in! And, more than once. I’m ssooo excited!

And, that's when I realized that what I learned about surfing is all we need to know to achieve our dreams.

Middle Aged Woman Learns to Surf

While my daughter had been surfing for years, I’d watch from the shore. But, about ten years ago, my husband decided, after a 30-year hiatus (from his youthful California surfing days), to take up the sport once again – and encouraged me to learn, too.

John got back up on the board like it had just been yesterday. Me? I rented a 9′ foam top board and sat out there with them beyond the crashing waves. Hey, I thought, just balancing on the board was quite an accomplishment.

Then, a few weeks later, I started to ride the waves in (on my belly like it was a big boogie board). Then, I started lifting up my head and shoulders. About a month later I got brave and actually got on my knees and rode in the waves.

Still, I never thought I’d actually be able to stand up. Heck, I’m a middle-aged lady – and older people just don’t take up surfing, right?

Well, by the end of that summer, I faced my fears and found out once the wave picks you up and you’re stable, it’s relatively easy to stand up on the board. And, stay standing up.

And, it was so much fun, even the part about falling backwards into the water when you lose your balance!

What Surfing Can Teach You About How to Achieve Your Dreams

Ok, I’m no Bethany Hamilton. Standing up on a 9′ foam top board (on two-foot Florida waves) is nothing like surfing the 20′ Pipeline in Hawaii, but now that I’ve joined the “lower class” of the surfing community, here’s my advice about achieving your dreams:

1. Face Your Fear

The difference between standing on the board and NOT standing on the board is really just fear.

I was surprised that once I decided to face my fears, it really wasn’t that hard to stand up. What fear do you have that’s holding you back from achieving something that you really want?

2. Don’t Do It Alone; Ask for Help

If you want to ride the waves, you have to be in the right place at the right time (otherwise the wave rolls under you or crashes down on top of you). And, let’s face it, most of us don’t intuitively know how to do everything. 

It really helped having John tell me how far to paddle out and then yell, “Now…start paddling.” Who can help you achieve your dreams? Go ahead, ask for help!

3. Focus on YOU

We have work, we have a home, and we have friends and family that need us. Have you found there’s sometimes little time to focus on YOU? As a mom, I’ve been guilty of that too, at time. I’ve spent much of my daughter’s life focusing on HER, worrying about her, finding solutions to her problems.

But, if you really want to take care of other people, you have to take care of yourself as well. What needs of yours are you ignoring?

4. Forget the Naysayers

When you have surfers on your right and surfers on your left (and most half my age), you really don’t want to make a fool out of yourself. Aaah, forget about them!

If you’ve got a big bodacious goal, chances are there are always those that will try to bring you down, tell you what you CAN’T do. It’s time to focus on what YOU want. So, forget the naysayers and go for it!

5. Enjoy the Ride

When the wave first catches you, it jerks you forward. I found out, that’s not a good time to stand up – leave that to the real pros. But, if you wait until the wave is smoothly carrying you towards the shore, the board is steady, and it’s relatively easy to stand.

Before you can achieve your goal, you’re going to have to go through some bumps too, learning stuff, practicing those skills, but eventually, I promise, things will get smoother and you’ll be ready to enjoy the ride!

Surf’s up – go ahead and catch your wave!

PS Surfing at Home

Want to surf, too, but don’t live near the ocean? For about a hundred bucks you can buy an “Indo Balance Board” and start surfing in your living room.

My daughter, a kinesthetic learner (learns better with movement), used to study her school notes while “surfing” on her Indo Board. But, I found that surfing on the open water is much easier.

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