29 June 2008

Two Surf Bloggers in One Picture

Kicking out just as Matt prepares to turn and go. (The photo was taken two days before the infamous "pop" that has kept me out of the water for almost a month.)

28 June 2008

I Want One!!

Yes, I know I'm a 45 year old black woman. And your point is?

27 June 2008

The Virtue Known as "Patience"

It's been a little more than three weeks since the injury and I am in no rush to get back in the water. I know it's the water, and its resistance, that will make me scream like a Banshee if I move the wrong way. There's still enough pain to give me pause when I think about surfing. The way I see it, I'll be ready to get back on a board when I can comfortably do the breaststroke. Right now, I can't even comfortably use a kickboard while doing normal kicking. I have no choice but to wait.

The bike, which I'd grown to hate in the years since I started surfing, is no longer being relegated to the recesses of my mind. It is my best friend for the time being, allowing me to maintain both strength and flexibility during my recovery. I want to surf . . . badly. However, I want to surf without pain.

I must be making decent progress with my recovery. I managed two workouts today: a 21 mile bike ride and a session in the weight room. The pain, when there was pain, was minimal. I'm determined to do what I can do. I can't surf yet. I can do just about everything else.

26 June 2008

The Birth of Stoke

25 June 2008

Summarily Dismissed

A few weeks ago, a "friend" called. I use the term "friend" lightly since that's obviously overstating the relationship. She wanted, I think, to bitch at me about not surfing with her. Now that I'm thinking about this conversation, I don't know why the hell she called. I'll just stay with the "called to bitch at me" angle and run with it. She belongs to that classification of people I'm now labeling "Stealers of the Stoke". These are the folks who insist that you surf with them, but whose attitudes or actions fuck up your stoke.

The person in question had some physical problems over the last year. She is not someone I know well, but she is someone I like. She called me to touch base a couple of months ago. That's when I learned of an issue she was having. She mentioned that it made it hard to drive. She mentioned that she needed to go back to the doctor's office that week. I immediately volunteered to drive her there. Cool. No big deal. Then, over the subsequent month or so, I talked to her and learned that she was not doing well emotionally. The injury had just gotten to her, I guess. Again, I don't know her well, I just know her. So I called her regularly and knocked on her door, when I was in her neighborhood, to check on her. Eventually, she started coming out of her funk, decided she would start bodysurfing, and insisted that she could only do this if I called her when I went surfing. Apparently, I was to be her motivation to get back into the water until she could surf.

Hmmm, call me an asshole, but I made no such calls. In the past, she had told me I surfed much too early in the morning. She'd also made unkind comments about my home break. (Yeah, it usually sucks so keep your happy ass away from it and surf a better break that's more deserving of your skills.) There's more to it than that. At that point in the year, my kid was still in school. My surfing revolves around his school schedule. I often don't know where I'm going until I drop him off. What's that you say? I could have called her. I could have, but she lives two blocks from the damn beach! Two blocks. In the time it takes me to pack my car with the board, gear and the kid, she could be at the beach. (By the time I did that, dropped him off and got to the beach, she could have been done with a session.) She wasn't even surfing. She just wanted me to be her motivation to get back in the water to bodysurf. I'm sorry, but I'm not the one. I check in with enough people in my life as a wife, mother and only child of a parent in her late 70's. Surfing is the one thing I can do where I have some freedom. No phones. No email. No interruptions. No expectations of me to make things happen . . . until I started being saddled with Stealers of the Stoke. Then, out of the blue, she tells me she's going to Hawaii to surf. Huh? I thought she was hurt, couldn't surf, no motivation, etc. Then she comes back, doesn't contact me for over a month (which is fine—I only keep tabs on the three people mentioned above).

At some point, I get the call which resulted in me being summarily dismissed, I think, from the friendship. All I heard was how I didn't call her when I went surfing, how I don't want to surf with her. In essence, I got told how terrible I am. Fine. I'm a terrible person. Fine. I'm happy to surf with people who don't steal my stoke. I hope she's decided I'm not a worthy of her friendship and leaves me alone.

You know what's sad? She's but one of two Stealers of the Stoke. How do I get stuck with these people?

24 June 2008


What would Duke do . . .

when faced with crowded line-ups, aggro wave hogs, dangerous beginners, bad attitudes and not enough stoke to go around?

23 June 2008

The Longing

21 June 2008

The Great Wait

Vastus medialis. This is the muscle that wasn't up to the task on the day I felt the pop. I blame myself for overlooking the importance of total body conditioning (even though I know better). Lesson learned the hard way. From here on in, I'll integrate more leg work into my training. The squats and lunges aren't enough, especially when you don't lock out the knees at the end of the squat. I'll get back on the bike enough to trigger the muscle memory and do a lot of out of the saddle riding. That kind of movement stimulates that muscle.

I rode for two hours today. There was pain, but only when I abruptly stopped pedaling to freewheel. There was no pain on inclines. There was little to no pain during hard gear mashing. I'll take that as a good sign. The turnaround spot was the home break. I don't go there much these days. I've been surfing with my tribe up the coast. But now that spot is a zoo. I'll be back at the home break once I'm ready to surf. I can't deal with these crowds. I'd rather surf a shitty wave alone than a great wave with six other people, three of whom are threatening to trade punches while going down the line.

18 June 2008

Tom Petty Said It Best

The waiting IS the hardest part . . . of an injury. It's been two weeks. It feels like it's been . . . two weeks. I think it will take another two weeks before I'm 80% to 90% in terms of strength. C'est la vie. I won't cry over it. It's my first surf-related injury. It won't be the last. The worst part is having a new board sitting there waiting for me. It wants to be surfed. It's begging for a wicked wax job. When you can't surf, you think about wax. What do you mean you don't think about wax? I do. Yeah, I know. Everyone is well aware of my preoccupation with surf wax.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Oh, about the comments. There won't be any. I've turned them off. This is no longer an interactive blog. The web is filled with too many anonymous throwers of flames and bad karma. Keep that shit to yourself, please.

You thought it was over? So did I.

New Stick

Courtesy of Alan at Salted Surfboards.