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The Angry Surfer by Hilary Achauer - CrossFit Journal

The Angry Surfer

By Hilary Achauer

In Rest Day/Theory, Sports Applications

August 17, 2013

PDF Article

Can the uptight ever hang loose? Hilary Achauer examines her complicated relationship with surfing.

The paddle out was easy that day. I didn’t even get my hair wet. I sat on my board with my dry hair and forced myself to look at the ocean, at the sky. I looked at the people walking on the beach and made up little stories about the surfers around me.

For 15 minutes I tried for the smaller waves that came through. Nothing. I fought back feelings of discouragement, of inadequacy. My husband actually nicknamed me “The Angry Surfer” for my repeated frustration with the sport.

A little wave popped up on the horizon, and I decided to give it a shot. I paddled hard, digging my hands in the ocean, careful to keep my fingers together to increase the resistance.

Then I felt it. My board started moving faster. I stopped paddling, and the board kept moving. This was it. On the last few waves I had tried for, I had popped up too early, so this time I forced myself to take a breath and wait. Then it was time. I popped up on my feet, and I was riding the watery roller coaster.

I turned the board parallel to the shore, staying ahead of the breaking wave. I felt my board slow down, so I walked to the nose a few steps, trying to make the small wave last longer.

Then it was over. I jumped off, grabbed my board and pointed it back out to the ocean.

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3 Comments on “The Angry Surfer”


wrote …

Perfectly captures the frustrations of learning to surf. This was my experience when I lived in So Cal during college! The author hit the nail on the head.


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

WOW! I KNOW the feeling... I have been TRYING to surf since age 18!!! I JUST stood up this summer, over HALF a lifetime later

I STOPPED fighting it, started accepting the ocean's energy and started letting things happen

I now spend every weekend of the summer in the water with my son

For those who KNOW me, know I get motion sickness, ha ha, EVEN in the freaking ocean on a surf board.

I've never felt such a feeling like popping up and riding a wave

I love it

My son loves it

Surfing is amazing!

here is my boy catching a lil' wave and loving life :)


wrote …

I read the whole story and found that this is the same as happened with me when I tried for the first time it’s not working but second time also not working then I got frustrated but I decided not to give up and I joined Total Surfing Fitness program for surfing and they turned me into a good surfer.

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