Actually, from a personal standpoint, it was a great session. I was on it today. Well, I was on it until I managed to bang a pelvic bone against one of the rails. I like being female. I really do. This was yet another instance when I was ever so thankful I'm not a guy . . . cos that shit hurt like hell. I rode the Slick today. I figured it might be best to be on a board with some rocker. That was a good call on my part. One of the guys in my crew once remarked that my Slick rides like a shortboard. I realize now that he's right. I can (and do) pump that board when I'm on a wave. Even though it's a longboard, it responds with lightning quickness. I love it. On days like today, I start to think that maybe the Slick is my favorite board. Today the Slick did me proud. Together, we did something I've never been able to successfully do: make a hard backside turn. I had no choice today. I was going frontside on a nice wave, a wave that I was easily able to carve on. I wanted to ride it longer, but doing so meant I would run over a kid on a boogie board. As I hurtled toward him, he froze. Well, that didn't help much either. The wave was about to close out so I couldn't go back out through the top. I couldn't simply hold the board and jump off. In either case, the wave would have closed out and sent me into him. So, I willed myself to turn back. Hot damn!!! Not only did I not take this kid's head off, I also made the turn successfully (i.e., I kept my balance and didn't fall off). Now I know it can be done . . . on the Slick. I think the Tyler would require a drop-knee turn. I would need to put all of my weight on the back leg in order to swing that log around. Still, I've done it on the Slick. I've felt it. I understand the balance necessary for that. That wasn't my best wave of the day, but it was close. It's really been a good week of surfing for me. I had a paddling epiphany earlier in the week. My paddling is the one thing that's stayed inconsistent since I began surfing. Some days I can paddle with power. Other days, I paddle like a girl. Well, during one of my sessions this week, I accidentally tweaked the way I was holding my hands when I was paddling. I immediately felt a marked difference in the way my board responded. Thankfully, I knew exactly what I'd done. I'd changed the position of my hands and also kept my fingers apart. For some reason, it works beautifully and I'm now paddling with a lot of power.
Why was this session bittersweet? Well, as I sat on the board waiting for a wave, I started thinking about all the water surrounding me. Then I thought about New Orleans, about how horrifying it must be to see your house, your street, and your city fill up with so much water that you can't see or touch the ground. You know, we Americans must try not to view this event with a jaundiced eye. This is serious! The word "serious" doesn't even come close to expressing the horror these people are facing. Shall I get down and dirty? Why not? If you are the parent of small children, what do you do about diapers? What do you do about food? If you're the child of an elderly parent, how do you keep that person safe and comfortable? Okay, you've escaped the flood in your house. Now you're stuck in the horror that is the Superdome. If you're a woman who just happened to be on her period during all of this, how do you get tampons and pads? And what's the point of even going to the bathrooms since they don't work and they're filthy? If you're someone who needs medication on a daily basis, you're screwed. Your medication is floating away with everything else you own. You're stuck at the Superdome, or the Astrodome, or on a bus between the two. What are you supposed to do? Maybe you don't remember all of the meds you take. Your list of meds if drowning under eight feet of water. And how do you prove to a doctor or pharmacist that you should and must be given those meds without a prescription. This whole thing is a nightmare. If you worked at a casino in Mississippi, guess what? Your home and your job are gone—for good. I won't even get started on the lack of food, water, clothing, and federal assistance. We're the damn richest country in the world and we can't even get our shit together enough to provide immediate assistance. That's shameful. Are these the kinds of things I think about when I'm surfing? Sometimes. One doesn't always surf with a smile or in a state of complete apathy.
THIS IS JUST WRONG!
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN A LOVED ONE DIES WHILE WAITING FOR HELP?
Okay, I'll stop. It's obvious I'm mad. We, as a country, can do better than this. We are better than this. Aren't we?