A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about surf

Overcome

overcast 84 °F

These days I feel chronically overwhelmed. Today on my way out the door, I spent fifteen minutes looking for my cell phone. Yesterday it was five minutes doing the same. I am always asking my husband, "Do you know where I put that?" "Did you happen to move it?" "Any idea where X could be?" Usually I find it in one of several obvious locations. But some rare times it is in an odd place, like say, the Windex is on top of the refrigerator, or the glass of ice water is next to the shower.

I find myself wondering if my husband is messing with me, if my son is really to blame for hiding these objects, or if I am honestly losing my mind. Hopefully none of the above, but my brain does not seem to be as sharp as it once was. I wonder why this has affected me, and not my husband. He gets the same lack of sleep. Maybe it is some odd shift in hormonal function after you have a child that suddenly makes a woman forgetful. He thinks I ignore him when he asks me to bring him some water, but the truth is, I forget what he said somewhere in those fifteen steps between the time he asks me and the time I get to the kitchen.

I am also losing my sense of motivation. I blame this on motherhood too. We went to our little beginner surfer's beach yesterday. I had many excuses in mind for why I couldn't go out: I had a headache, I was tired, Bodhi wanted me to stay, I had more pressing things to do... I DID build up the nerve to paddle out. So I swim out and find myself bobbing in the waves thinking, this is not safe. What am I doing out here alone? I don't know what I am doing. Maybe I should play it safe. Maybe I should paddle into shore. I paddled into a few waves like a boogie boarder, riding them shortly but without fully committing to a stand. This is our first big winter swell, and the waves were larger than we have seen, and I heard the first break in the distance thundering loudly. By the time they get in to where I am stationed, they are just bumps, but the oncoming white water and pounding sound make me hesitate and think I should go into shore. I sit there for a few minutes, wishing I felt the urge to attack the waves with gusto, like a lioness over her prey. Truth is I feel more like a puppy, wanting to watch from the shore. I don't want to be one of those people that always opts out and sits on the sidelines, I want to be a mother who adventures, takes chances, and learns new things. I want to teach my son he can do anything he sets his mind to do.

When I paddle back into shore, I am both feeling relieved and slightly bothered by this apprehension that I feel in the water. I remember a time when I felt fearless, when I would try anything, when I had more guts. I want to still have that audacity, that reckless abandon for adventure...I want my child to see it, and to also have a carefree courage. But something comes along with motherhood that causes me to take pause, survey the situation for safety, be cautious. It is what also makes me now woozy at high elevations. Heights never bothered me before, I would walk a razor-thin edge out to a clifftop. Now I see them as a danger. I watch these kids in the X-games go flying over a ramp doing backflips on their snowboards, and instead of thinking, 'wow, I wish I could do that'; I think 'Never'. I am gratified by the fact that I at least took the step to swim out there and be amidst the waves feeling these uneasy emotions. I hope it turns into a more fierce determination to overcome this fear and prevail. I want to succeed in surfing and I want to experience new things, but I find those things completely overshadowed by my greater desire to be a mother, to spend time with my son, and to cheer on his successes. Perhaps there is room for a little success and discovery for each of us, if I can only remember how to find it.

Posted by globalmomma 06:27 Archived in USA Tagged surf waves hawaii fear memory courage motivation Comments (0)

The Hawaii Diet

My husband and I are currently working on a book plan called the Hawaii Diet. The research subjects are ourselves. We are currently eating a diet that seems to fit Hawaiian lifestyle; consisting of fruit smoothies and kona coffee in the morning, fruit, vegetables, fish and brown rice throughout the day. It is a fairly simple cleansing protocol focusing on the local produce and milieu, that we are following until the holidays.

It fits the simple days here, nothing too fancy or complicated is needed or even preferred. You have everything that you need all around you. The food is sustenance: healthy, delicious, cool, fresh, savory, easy. No dairy, no gluten, bread or pasta or flour. No dairy, no eggs, no meat. A small amount of whole grains in quinoa and rice salads, and a mixture of raw and cooked items throughout the day. Mostly vegetables and items high in nutrients. It is a diet that should be closer to our norm, so we are trying to look at it as a new normal, rather than a detox. That we can have days or weeks or "not-healthy" eating, but then we will come back to the Hawaii Diet, which is our daily eating habit. Rather than the other way around, where you go on a detox, can't wait to get off of it, cheat while on it, then binge on junk when you get done. We have done that too many times. Oh, quick, we start our detox next week, let's have nachos today!

Daily exercise is also remarkably easy in a climate like this, where every morning you wake up to sun...so we need to take full advantage. My husband Chris has started his own blog about his efforts of training for an Olympic triathlon. I will post the link on this site. I am also getting back into walking with Bodhi and now that we have procured a jogging stroller, I will be getting into running as well. We are both trying to surf as a new sport as well, and believe me when I tell you it is the best workout (including Bikram yoga!) that I have ever had. All the paddling is wonderful for building shoulder and back strength. I love how I feel physically and emotionally rejuvenated and strengthened after a day surfing waves. I will write more detail about our diet plan in another blog post, but for now, we are motivated to get back into shape Hawaii style!

Posted by globalmomma 01:13 Archived in USA Tagged food surf hawaii fast exercise weight loss nutrition diet juice shape detox Comments (0)

Surf's Up!

Lesson One at Kahalu'u Beach

sunny 86 °F

My husband Chris's birthday was Saturday. For his birthday, I decided to surprise him with a surf lesson. Luckily, my mom was here, so we could go take a lesson together. We woke early and I drove him down to the beach. At this point, he was pretty sure what was going to happen. We put our rashguards on. We got a quick lesson on land on how to hop up onto the surfboard. Slide one foot forward and keep the other foot back, both facing sideways, arm pointing forward toward the shore. Luckily for Chris, the stance is similar to snowboarding. Luckily for me, the stance is similar to the yoga pose Warrior 1. He and his regular foot, and me and my goofy foot, carry our foamy surfboards across the street and into the ocean. We climb awkwardly on, and begin paddling out toward the waves. I won't exaggerate about the size of the waves... they were baby waves, about 2-4 feet. Our instructor paddles out effortlessly. He is a tanned local Big Island Hawaiian, and he looks like he has been on the ocean every day of his young life. I would have estimated that Dom (the instructor) was 20 years old, until he informed us that he also has a 2 year old son, and that he is one of his several children. Dom is sitting on his surfboard, legs slung over each side, watching the waves come from the horizon. He tells us to point our boards out toward the waves and watch. We aren't really sure what he is seeing. But before we know it, he says, "Turn around guys, and start paddling". We spin around and I begin paddling frantically with both arms. "Faster now" he says, and then he gives us a quick nudge and the wave is under us. "Stand up now!" he yells, and we both leap forward like we were taught, bending our knees and trying to stay upright. I am amazed that the wave is still moving under me, and that I am managing to stay upright. About ten seconds later, the wave is gone, and I fall off the surfboard, grinning widely. I start paddling back to where Dom is sitting, and when I arrive, I try to climb down and sit the way he is sitting on the board. But before I can balance, he says, "here comes another one, Get ready." I see nothing. But I climb back onto my stomach and turn the board around. I am again paddling as hard as I can and he shoves the board under the wave. Again, I leap up and ride the wave to the break. It is amazing what a rush of adrenaline I am getting as I yell to Chris, "I'm really doing it!!"

The last time we tried surfing was at Bondi Beach outside Sydney, Australia in 2003. It was a fun experience, but I was never really ready to move from my torso or my knees up to my feet. I spent the whole two hours boogie boarding, and cheering for Chris. This time, however, I was really surfing, and loving it. I can see why this sport is incredibly addictive. For one, it is unbelievably rewarding when you catch a wave. Secondly, you are out on the ocean, sun on your back, feet dipped into the cool water, a perfect morning activity. Thirdly, each ride produces a rush of adrenaline and giddiness that honestly took me by surprise. Fourth, like fishing, it can be anything you want it to be. You can put in a lot of effort or a little. You can continuously ride waves or you can basically sit on your board and watch the waves float by.

This time, we were riding each wave that Dom told us was a good one to take. For the next half hour, it felt like each time I got back out to where he was, he was telling me to go again. By forty minutes in, my arms were really tired. I was having to paddle using my entire body. I was trying to paddle simultaneously with both hands. It felt like it was taking longer and longer to get back out to where Dom was, and that he was moving further and further out. Turns out, he was moving further out. As we got 'better', he moved us out to the next rung of surfers that were another hundred yards out to sea. With these waves, we were able to jump up and ride the wave until it crested, then it would pick up again and we would get to go another ten seconds almost back to shore; Making each ride twice as long, and each paddle back out twice as hard. By the end I was lying face down on my surfboard telling Dom, "I will wait for the next one", because I literally didn't think I could paddle back out again without a few minutes recovery. Talk about arm and shoulder strength! Now I know why all surfers are incredibly lean with amazing back musculature. I definitely will need to improve my back and shoulder muscles before I come back out again.

As the two hour lesson was ending, we each got in our final wave and climbed out of the water carrying the 12 foot surfboards on our heads. I had a permanent grin on my face. I knew Chris would be a natural at it, but I never expected to do so well myself after my last experience. I never expected to get a love for it on the first lesson. Now, I am shopping for a surfboard, and we are talking about going to the beach and tag team surfing. I stay on the shore with Bodhi while Daddy surfs, then we switch. A perfect Hawaiian morning and a perfect way to jump right in to life.

Posted by globalmomma 13:06 Archived in USA Tagged ocean beach surf waves surfing hawaii lesson exercise kona instructor kahaluu Comments (0)

Easy Remote

Life in Hawai'i

I am starting to realize why people come to the islands for vacation. Yes, the beach, the sunshine, the warm 80 degree temperatures year-round, the relaxed pace, the ability to wear sandals and sundresses and tanktops in the middle of January, all are HUGE reasons to come to the islands on vacation.

But a larger draw, in my opinion, is the idea of 'getting away from it all'. At first glance, this technically means just leaving your workplace and the piles of papers, the ringing phone and the to-do list that never gets shorter, the bills, the errands, the monotony. But it feels that much more powerful when you literally place MILES and MILES between yourself and those day to day chores. The stress tends to add up little by little over time, compiling like someone else's money in a 401K. It grows and grows until you drain it somehow, and then it creeps in and rebuilds. So in order to release the stress, many of us run as far away from the stressors as we can possibly get.

Hawai'i is literally thousands of miles of ocean away from any other large land mass. So when you come here on vacation, it truly is getting away from it all. And you can feel that stress being lifted as you fly the miles and hours to arrive here. But when you start to live here, you begin to realize just how far away from everything you really are.

Everything is double the price, because it often has to fly halfway across the world to get here. So everyday items like shoes, toys, shampoo, milk, cost 2-3 times what they would cost on the mainland (this is Hawaiian for 'rest of the USA other than Hawai'i'). Gas, cars, everything has a surcharge here, kind of like a luxury tax for being able to reside in such a beautiful, remote, healing place.

Then you begin to realize just how long it takes to visit the ones that you love. And how far away you are when you are missing them... Today my mom flies here from California, and I cannot wait to see her. We are arriving early and waiting for her to come through the gate. I cannot remember the last time I actually parked the car at the airport and went inside to wait for a flight, rather than circling. It is such an event to have a visitor already. We have been 'living' in Kona for almost three weeks, and the time is passing by so rapidly. It feels like we have just arrived, and we are still in that phase where we are exploring, getting lost, finding new spots.

There are a few things that make us still visitors: (1) the rental car, that we are hoping to trade in for a purchased used car at some point in the next ten days before our rental contract runs out (2) the un-tanned skin: although we are working on remedying this situation, we still do not look dark enough to be islanders who have a steady base of sunshine on their skin (3) no permanent dwelling, no plans past next week

The things that are localizing us:
The fact that we carry in our car at all times: a boogie board, two towels, several wet bathing suits, a football, a cooler, sunglasses, and a beach chair. Just in case. You never know when you may need it. When you may just decide it is such a beautiful afternoon that we might as well stop at the beach and have a quick swim, which we have done at least every other day since we arrived. You would think that there is only so much time one wants to spend at the beach, but I will tell you that we have not yet reached that point. Basically, any spare moment throughout the day after work is finished, we either say, "hey, let's go to the beach", or take a dip in the pool.

We have island time down. In fact, I have always lived on island time. It was the rest of the world that had it wrong :) The islands are always moving slow, so being five, ten minutes late is recommended...and customary. I love this. Absolutely love it. And the fact that everyone wears easy shoes, and slips them off the moment they enter into anyone's home, so at least half of your life is spent in bare feet. Bodhi loves this. It is an easy life. But also a remote life.

Posted by globalmomma 18:48 Archived in USA Tagged beach surf in island life swim pool time hawaii barefoot aloha Comments (1)

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