Hitting the "Pause" Button
All I can say is my new friend Micco made me do it. He called me out, thus bringing all of my Dale Webster-like tendencies to the fore. We'd met a L.A.'s best-known break three days ago when I flagged him down and moved my car enough so that he could park. A friendship began with that one gesture. The waves were quite good that day and we didn't get to talk much. The following day, for reasons that were unclear to me, I headed right back up there in all of that thick mist that was being blown hither and yon by the onshore winds. Once I got to the break, I sat there trying to decide what I'd do. I was actually kind of stuck there. At that hour, going back in the direction from which I'd come was a nightmare. So, it was either sit it out or get in.
Micco arrived soon after I did. As I sat there thinking about what I should do, he knocked on my window. All I remember is him saying "fair weather surfer". Me? Oh, brother, you are tripping! I got your fair weather surfer right here! I was in the water not long after he paddled out. And, no, the conditions weren't good. But you can't beat having this break to yourself. Even on a bad day like that one, I got several rides all the way to the beach. Micco was the one ripping it up. He's got 42 years of surfing under his belt and is as stoked as anyone you'll ever meet.
Anyway, today I decided I'd had enough of that small, bumpy, Victory at Sea nonsense. Micco suggested he might sit this one out too (although I'd bet he didn't). I hit "Pause" and did something I haven't done in eight years.
I went for a run in the soft sand.
That used to be one of my favorite pastimes. When you run in the sand, you know better than to worry about how far you've gone or how fast you're going. You just put one foot in front of the other, get out of your own head and go. And go I did. I ran from the home break to the S.M. Pier. I marveled at my accomplishment. Then I ran back. And my knee didn't hurt at all. Not one bit. I didn't even notice it was down there being all bionic and shit. I just ran, listening to Peter Gabriel all the while and thinking about how much better life is when you don't give in to your fears. It's well-known that most doctors, experts and know-it-alls will say you cannot run with a knee replacement. It's thought the pounding will cause the titanium bits (which are glued into the bones) to loosen.
Whatever. Life is too short. If they loosen, they loosen. My doc said,"Try and wear that knee out." In my mind, he was saying, "Go live your life like you mean it. Rule it!"
You can't rule it from the place of fear if that's not a place with which you're comfortable. Is it possible that running will make the knee wear out faster? Yes. Does that mean I should sit quietly in the hopes I can make this knee last until I die? No. I might die tomorrow or next year. And if I don't do my thing on my terms, I'll be mad that I played it safe.
As I get older, I find I'm less inclined to play it safe when doing so makes me unhappy.
If the waves cooperate, I'll take myself off "Pause" tomorrow. I got the BlueGill back from Wegener. I've decided, OF COURSE (!!!!!), to pull the trigger on one. However, I'm going to get one that's a bit shorter and easier to turn. The turning is hard on the knee so a shorter one will be a bit less painful for me.
You know what I think? Life's too short not to rule it completely . . . if you have the guts to do so.