Life On A Surfboard.
Surfing in Baja is a highly encouraged MEA rite of passage. You get up, you fall down. You get up, you fall down. You get up, you fall down. The metaphor is profound. Midlife and beyond, modern elders are learning to crawl again as we strive to stand on our boards.
We feel the force of life, the wave behind us, gaining power and speed. We respond by searching for the flow, for the groove. Intuitively, we know it is time to stand. Instinctively, we know we have but a fleeting moment to stand up and catch the wave.
I have never been on a surfboard. The joven/young men quickly line us up on the sandy Cerritos beach and ask us to lie face down on our boards. I quickly realized the sequence is four yoga poses. Cobra…All Fours…Low Lunge….and Warrior One, with an added chair squat as we float onto the shore.
We paddle out together past the breaker line. The joven/young men are behind us in the water. I am facing the shore. I hear them yell, “Listo?” “Ready?” “Get up! Get up!” I feel and hear the wave pushing me. I know it’s time to rise up onto All Fours and quickly pull my back leg forward moving into Low lunge and up to standing. The wave is driving me forward, towards shore. The sound is all around me. I can’t look back. Is it a big or a small wave? I can’t worry about that. Life is pushing me forward.
As in the rest of our lives, we don’t know which ride will draw us towards a peak experience. Will we fall and have to get up again? Or will we effortlessly glide to shore?
Every time we stand on the board, we take a risk…the risk we might fall. When we re-invent or regenerate ourselves in any situation – a new friendship, courageous conversations with loved ones, anything we begin anew – we’re standing up on a board and risking a fall. Ultimately, it’s about trust. Trusting yourself and trusting life.
Even the disclaimer teaches me. Try at your own risk. Such a valuable point to consider with aging: What risk am I willing to take as a younger septuagenarian versus a potential physical consequence? Falling in shallow water on hard sand is indeed a risk AND it was one of the most thrilling hours of my life. It was life full on. Fully alive. Fully expressing. Fully in the moment. A risk, for me, worth taking.
What will your “Baja Aha” be?
Rocky Blumhagen, MEA Alum 28 Degrees, Stanford DCI 2019 is a yoga and mindfulness
practitioner. For expanded thoughts go to: www.rockyblumhagen.com/life-on-a-surfboard