You feel it in the catch of your breath. Your feet stuck firm to the wax, your legs shaking, your board—Luna the goddess of the night—feels lighter than air. And in that brief second, where you’ve had your breath held in as you carve down the face of the blue heart, muddied by rain, you feel exhilarated, terrified, but mostly exuberant.
You can’t believe how short it felt. How you held your hands out, keeping your body from falling, as the updraft from the wave bounced your board up and down as if it were nothing but plywood.
But you remember that plummet, that brief image you get as your body, utterly exhausted, pushes itself up: elbows, hands, knees and eventually feet. Your stomach lurches as you realize what you’ve gotten yourself into. You can see everything and nothing as your back foot sets itself firmly on the base of your board and then you fall. You carve down the side at an angle you were sure two seconds ago would have had you eating air, then water followed by that aftertaste of bitter salt. But you hold on and you fall. You fall so fast you can’t believe what’s happening, but there’s that small little voice in the back of your head going,
‘You’re fucking doing it! Shhiiiiittttttttttttttt! Wooooooooooooooooo!’
You start to slow down, your body breathes in and out as every fiber feels on edge from the rush, and your legs start to shift a bit as you slide back down the face of your board, knee, stomach, elbow and hands, dipping back into the water as you cut through the surface towards the next moment. And you realize that this experience came from the choices you made yourself. You reflect on what lead up to this moment and it all starts to form into a moment of disbelief. A moment of happiness. A moment of something you’ve earned with perseverance, a little bit of courage and patience.
And as you’re driving home looking at the photos of you of that moment, thinking about the skills you’ve learned here and how they won’t make you rich. How they won’t be something you can sell or lend or borrow.
But it doesn’t matter, because it makes you happy.
And slowly your lips start to curve, just a little bit at first as you flash back to feeling every part in your body before that drop. And your face starts to open up at the thought, and you smile because you did this. And in that moment you understand that this is something that truly makes you happy.
You let that feeling seep down into your bones and shiver as you your body gets ready for the next time, the next ride, the next drop of happiness.