I was in Cornwall last week, which is one of my favourite places. The reason for the trip was a combination of recharging, catching up on some things that have been hanging around on the “to-do” list for a while, and getting some headspace to think and plan.
When I do this, I like to combine it with some physical activity and as you would expect in Cornwall...it's surfing!
I'm very much a novice - not much opportunity to practice near Stratford and I swallowed enough water to offset the rising sea levels - but I'm determined to improve, and I find it about the best activity to quieten my “puppy-dog mind”!
Part of the programme I was on was about learning to understand where and when to surf, assess the weather and sea conditions etc. so you can plan your day
As there is for everything now, there's an app that gives you a detailed forecast about the wind, the swell, the surf etc. I thought: “great, that makes it really easy to decide what to do”
The instructor's response was very interesting. He said:
“It's a good thing to look at, but what often happens is that people end up using it as an excuse not to go. It's almost like “if it's not a ‘3 star' then I'm not going to bother”, or “maybe we'll go later if the wind changes direction”.
But that's crazy as there are almost always things you can practice regardless of the conditions and wind direction; different types of waves, height, speed, angle and you really need to practice them all - you just need to practice over and over, and get on as many waves as possible!”
Made me think: this is just like getting fit or losing weight.
I've lost count of the number of times people have said:
“I really want to...but I need to wait until x happens” or
“it's difficult at the moment because of x,y,z”,
“I haven't got the time right now”
“I need to get my head right first”.
Waiting for conditions to be “perfect”...
They will never be perfect.
There will always be something in the way.
If you've ever said or thought any of these things I'd encourage you to just make a start anyway.
There is always a way; it is worth doing - you can always step it up if the opportunity comes up
And then when the best waves come along - if you've been practicing - you're going to be much more likely to be in a position to take full advantage...and maybe even enjoy the ride!