Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Skiing = waves

Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I surfed/posted here. The day after my last post I got sick for the first time in, oh, I don't know, about ten years, thanks to my sometime roommate who was suffering the same ailment (cold/flu). And I stayed out of the water for two weeks until I felt better.

Then there were no waves, then, this weekend I went skiing...Bingo! Wavos!

I missed out, but at least I got in on the biggest snowstorm this winter.

It was my first time skiing this season. Because, ladies and gentlemen, my book is now DONE! And I mean really done. Not like, done but being edited. Done as in: NO REASON TO SPEND MY LIFE STARING AT A COMPUTER SCREEN ALL DAY EVERY DAY ANY MORE!

Done as in, I can do other things.

Like go to the top of a mountain.

I'll be skiing more this year as much as I can. Though I've been skiing a long time, and can ski any black diamond (expert) trail, my skiing can use improvement. Just cause I get to the bottom without falling down doesn't mean I'm doing it right (as my ski instructor said this weekend). I need to rethink my balance; he says I'm putting way too much effort in when I could do the same with much less effort just by adopting a correct stance. I know he's right.

Which leads to some interesting comparisons between surfing and skiing. Surfing, you're not balanced, you fall down immediately. Skiing, you can still stay up in all kinds of ways even if you're not really balanced but there are costs (like using muscles that were never meant to be used the way you're using them.) In other words, it's easier to fake it in skiing.

It also hurts a hell of a lot more when you fall.

My real (as in to a real mountain, not this New York State stuff) ski trip is to come and the annual ski blog shall return.

P. S. OK, I'm just going to say this. Getting out of New York City to other parts of the world is, in some ways, a disconcerting experience, especially when it's that land called upstate (the most boring, characterless place I've ever been to. Even Ohio and Illinois and Iowa have character.) In particular, I can't get used to the blinding whiteness, and I don't mean the snow. I mean the people.

It's enough to make me miss my neighborhood. And I am just gonna say this, though I may get flack. Checking out the guys at the resort, I didn't see anything like what I see at home. Whatever I may feel and say about the local guys being assholes (a well deserved title in so many cases), they are for the most part, I must admit, a remarkably good looking crew.

(With the exception of A.N. and a few others, who's so bad looking some people think he's good. Don't get swelled heads, guys.)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Church of Surf

Sunday morning services were well attended today, in the dead of winter, almost as well attended as during the summer. Year-round the service starts, oh, whenever people wake up from whatever they were doing the night before. The later it got in the morning, the more people showed up. Today was truly an interdenominational service, with friends, Mafia, regulars, and no-namers co-existing mostly peacefully. Smiles all around. I was within three feet of Tim Hill (the Mafia asshole who, you will recall, abused me verbally and threatened me with physical harm at the beginning of the summer) for much of the morning and wasn't going to move because I liked the spot. But he kept his lying slandering mouth shut.

And the day was fun. The waves were small and the sun was glorious. I was working on my timing and on getting all the elements of surfing to work on one wave. I did get the timing right a bunch of times. One thing that was helpful, when I found myself catching waves but not getting or staying up, was just to wait a split second longer before attempting the popup. I'm pretty sure that doesn't work on waves that are more closeout-y than today's, but it worked today.

I think (no, I know) people were surprised at how well I was doing. No one more so than the guy who dropped out in me cause that's what everyone does, then ended up riding a wave with me.
I got comments like, "I saw you doing a popup and I couldn't believe it---I said, was that Grandma?" and "You're really doing better."

Like a certain musician-surfer says: "The first five years are the hardest."