Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Missing mojo

Do I have to tell you how much I sucked yesterday after having been out of the water for more than a month? Do I really have to tell you? No, I don't. Any and every way you can imagine that a person can suck at surfing, or rather attempting to surf, I sucked. Let's leave it at that.

But of course I couldn't leave it at that. I had to go back out today, though I hadn't planned to. The waves were much smaller, one to two feet rather than three to four. I only had one hour which was only time enough for me to catch one wave (which I could not get up on). Then I had to leave---or else I would be late for/miss my appointments in the city later on. But I couldn't leave, not without my mojo. Somewhere in that flat month and then in the big heavy waves it had gone missing. I had totally lost my confidence and nerve. I could get try to get it back, or not.

I tried. And in the second hour, I proved to myself that I can still catch waves, though I did not get so far as riding one except for one second at a time, far below my best performance. I made several drops pretty well, could not pop up because my arms are not strong enough, got up slowly using my knees, stood for as long as one second, could not balance, and fell off.

But at least I equalled my usual performance. And it wasn't unfun. For a while yesterday, I thought I'd totally lost it. But I found my mojo, which was totally worth missing my appointments. (I can always reschedule.) If you ever really lose your mojo, that's totally the end. Without your mojo, you're just sitting in the middle of a freezing ocean in a rubber suit, stewing in your own pee.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

One damn thing after another

That's the name of a song I'm listening to on the radio. Yes, nothing marks you as a Grandma more than listening to A Prairie Home Companion, which my son and I used to call The Old Fart Show.

It also applies to surf conditions. After a month of flatness, today there are waves. I woke up and watched the cams. It looked OK, maybe a little big, but not unmanageable. I was packed up and ready to go. Then K. called from the beach and said the waves were huge. There were overhead sets and more, and she'd decided not to go after watching them from the boardwalk. They really didn't look that bad on the cam, but I had no reason to doubt what she was telling me. I thought I should listen to her, since we surf at about the same level. If it was too big for her, it was too big for me.

Later on someone posted pictures from this morning, and it was indeed overhead. The only question is, would it have gone down enough by the time I woulda gotten out there---2 or 3 pm---to be a good size for me?

I may never know the answer to that question, and I don't think I want to know.

I will shoot for surfing tomorrow or Tuesday or the next possible day.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

This surf blog pre-empted by a ski blog

WTF is going on? I come back from Colorado and it's still flat?

What is this, some kind of curse?

My informants tell me there were a couple of days of waves right before I left or during the trip, but that's it---the epic flatness continues. The surf reports since I've been back look the same as before I left: "More flatness". "Flat again".

Well, it wasn't flat in Colorado! And there was snow. The only problem with this trip was that apparently the entire population of the red states was on something called "Spring Break" last week, and they all decided to take their yearly family ski trip at the same place I did, all unbeknownst to me. If I had known, I wouldn't have booked the damn trip that week. I am going to be having nightmares for quite a while about hordes and hordes of Georgians descending down the slopes in an unending procession, in groups of nine with at least five blond children named "Conway" and "Callen" etc. etc...nightmares where I hear the clomps of their ski boots...

I ran into one of the little Mississippi munchkins and it wasn't entirely accidental...awww, the little thing wasn't hurt and it was probably her fault anyway.

Learning surfing has been one step forward, two steps back. It's a given that after a good day I'll have a bad one, no matter what. It sure hasn't been a simple progession. I've come to accept that. Learning to ski has been much more linear, which is why it's been much less frustrating.

That said, it's not always progress. I have achieved Level 7, the next to highest level in skiing, but I haven't been there very long and I don't always reach it consistently. Things like crowds, poor visibility, tiredness or injury can set me back a level. All of these things applied at times during this trip and sometimes all at once.

The first day I was doing great. I was so confident I decided to try a double black diamond trail (my first) without even looking at it. Stupid, stupid move kids, don't try it! Suffice it to say I got down the trail on my ass.

The second day I had a fall that was a little scary, because I couldn't get out of it by myself. I wasn't hurt, but somehow the strap of my backback got twisted around my ski. I couldn't see it and couldn't understand why I couldn't get that foot back under me. Somebody had to help me up (OK, Texans are good for something). After that, a fall where I hurt my ankle. You can't break your ankle in ski boots, but it was a little banged up.

I took the rest of that day off to soak in the hot springs.

The other days turned out good, though. I stopped caring what color trail I was on. I found one that was relatively deserted, a chair lift where I could get a ride by myself and without standing in a line, and I just flew. Again and again.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Epic flatness

There hasn't been a flat spell like this one in the three years that I've been surfing. Flat as a pancake. Flat as a Chinese gymnast's chest. Flat as my attempts at humor tend to fall when I'm hanging out with 20-year-old boys.

I don't use the word flat easily. My motto is "there's always something". Remember, I surf six-inch wavelets.

But it's flatter than that, and it has been since the last time I was out. That's two weeks.

There's nothing to surf and no surf on the horizon, so I'm heading for the hills. I'm taking my lovable Alzheimer's-afflicted pooch and going skiing in Colorado. Barring a miraculous change in surf in the next week, you will hear from me after the 20th.