I'm writing this journal from my favorite spot here at surf camp, which is Erik's hammock, facing towers the woods, listening to Alyssa shred the Ukulele. The clouds are blocking the sun making it the perfect temperature, and I covered myself in poison so the bugs are leaving me alone. Honestly I'm loving surf camp, and I'm definitely as hard as I can to improve- some would say that I'm defeating the purpose of kick-back surfing, and part of me would agree. However another part of me would say that I've never been one to not give 100%, and that the enjoyment from quick improvement is more than enough. A third part of me finds solace in that fact that my mind can be relaxed while my body is working hard, similar to the freaks that run marathons for fun and clarity of mind.
Being at surf camp reminds me of that Calvin and Hobbes book I used to have, where the cover is them casually walking over a log, captioned "The Days are Just Packed."
Surfing is a weird sport. You get the same "in touch with nature" feeling that I would imagine would come from running through the woods early in the morning, but without the sweaty running. In fact you don't even realize it's tiring you out until you feel that you can barely lift your arms to paddle into the waves, upon which you can take a 5 minute cat-nap on the board, basking in the sun, rocked into a sleepless daze by he gentle bobbing of the ocean. After this you can simply decide on a whim when you'd like to come out again, and immediately jump right back in. And the cycle repeats.
Surfing feels like it has the same sense of accomplishment that one would feel with a successful dive- a rush of wind, the stomach flipping sensation of falling just for a second, then the speed that comes from shooting down the wave, mind in perfect harmony with body. However what's different about surfing from diving, is that messing up while surfing doesn't result in a breath-stealing belly flop, but the gentle (but cold) embrace of the ocean.
After surf camp our group had 3 days of service work with the local national parks. For 2 of the days we were removing Bitou bush, which was an invasive species to Australia and was taking up space and resources for native species. If you thought surfing sounding therapeutic, imagine finding a wooden club and wailing on a bush for a few hours, taking all your anger out on something that needed to be killed and removed anyways. Oh but the bush fought back. We all walked away cut, scraped, bit, and bruised, myself getting plenty of all four. However when told I look pretty banged up I like to say "you should see the other bush!"