I want to tell you a little story of how the phrase “third time’s a charm” became to be true in my life.
We arrived at the surf shack just as it opened. The sun, still low on the horizon, promised a beautiful day. There were fifteen of us camping together, I was the oldest, the grandma; the youngest was just four. Most of them were surfing experts and owned their own boards and wet suits, but this was my first attempt. Perhaps my age was a bit factor, but I was advised to rent a Boogie Board instead. A shorter fatter version, so I could “surf” lying down. That sounded good to me. I struggled and pushed and pulled as I squeezed myself into a wet suit: I was told they are supposed to be tight but this was ridiculous. I tried not to look in the mirror as we left the store, but I caught a glimpse of a large black creature exiting the store. I turned away in horror.
We arrived at the beach and staked out our spot on the sand. My eyes were drawn to the water, dotted with surfers. The sound of the waves as they crashed over the sand, the salty smell of the air, the feel of the sun on my face as I gazed to the horizon melted the stress away. I stood there happy for the first time in months. Today was a day for fun, for adventure and I was ready to embrace it.
My son gave me some tips as we entered the water, how to hold the board, how to wait for the right wave, how to get into the wave. OK, I said, I can do it.
I watched for a little while, just to get the feel of the surf crashing around me. Water has never scared me and I pushed off just as I was told and the wave crashed over me, the board went one way and I went the other. I was glad I was tethered to the board, and soon got back to the perfect spot, that place just before the waves crested. I waited again, watching, learning.
Again I jumped onto the board, my hands positioned just right and somehow the wave caught the back of the board and the nose of the board and my head disappeared into the surf. I rolled around inside the wave, not sure which way was up. I found down when my head bounced off the bottom. I came up sputtering, salt water sure is salty. I was surprised how far I had traveled under the water.
Back out to just past the cresting waves, determined to get this right. I would not be beaten by a wave. I waited and watched. My son gave me a few more tips, like push the nose down, but not as far I did the last time. In hindsight, that was good advice, a little late, but good just the same.
The perfect wave rose up behind me. At the precise moment I jumped into it and felt it carry me. I could hear the cheers from my fellow campers. I rode until I was in very shallow water, stood up and raised my arm in victory. I did it. Third time’s the charm.
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