Ocean Therapy


Kid1's found art composition: Head in the Sand.

After I was through with my bicycle ride yesterday, and after John was through with his run, we loaded up the van and took the girls to a beach that’s less than a mile from our home. We unwrapped a beginner surfboard we bought the girls more than two years ago, pre Achilles tendon burst. We also dragged out my stand-up paddle board, my “SUP,” which had been used maybe half a dozen times before the accident.

After we set up the chairs, loaded John with the cameras, we Benderettes took to the sea. The girls were happily playing on the new board while I considered what I was about to do. Although I had been on my SUP a handful of times two years ago, I didn’t feel as though I had mastered it even then. So I got on it, first on my knees, and paddled around a little bit, mostly in a circle. A kind gentleman came over to tell John I was holding my paddle wrong. Oh, the logo goes OUT?

Paddling out with Kid2.

I got to my feet and wobbled a bit. The morning glass had given way to on-shore breezes, and mini wakes rocked me off the board a couple of times. I got back on my knees, paddled around a little bit more, and tried to get on my feet again. After a few tries, I had my sea legs back, I was flexing as the wavelettes tossed my board around, I paddled to shore, skirted the shoreline, and paddled back out a few more times. I did it! It felt like one of those back-on-the-bicycle, know-how-to-type-forever moments.

Shoreline imagination.

No one knows more than John how revitalizing a day at the beach can be for me. When I first came to Hawaii, I used to be one of those girls who surfed twice a day, working the graveyard shift  so I could paddle out whenever I wanted. All I needed was a sandwich, a surfboard, a bar of wax and a quarter-tank of gas to have a good day.

Eventually, I got to my feet and succeeded in SUPping around Maunalua Bay while the girls tried out the new surfboard.

After we were through, we went to the new Ramen-Ya at Hawaii Kai Towne Center. While we ate, the girls asked if I thought they were good surfers. They didn’t realize they actually weren’t surfers yet, but tooling around along the shore, taking turns standing and balancing on the board, and figuring out how to paddle, are really important things you need to know before  you cross the reef and the channel to take one’s place in the lineup. They’ll then need to learn a few of the social norms of surfing, unfortunately. I’ll teach them something that always worked for me: smile, be gracious, and get out of the water when it’s no longer fun. Sometimes the waves are so big that they are too scary and that’s no fun. Sometimes there’s a jerk surfer one has to endure. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

One thing is for sure, there will be more ocean time for the Benderettes in 2012!

Author: lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer is my new opponent. Writer, super sub teacher, triathlete, awesome cook, ocean girl with head-to-toe sun protection.

2 thoughts on “Ocean Therapy”

  1. I *love* this mindset– more OCEAN!
    Definitely beats more cowbell. 😉

    And I am SO SO SO happy to see you back on your SUPboard. What a champ you are and such a trailblazer. So many people would be too timid after an injury like yours, and here you are, biking and running and now SUPPING!

    One of mine in 2012: COMMENT/CONNECT MORE WITH BLOGS I READ EVERY DAY. :0)

    Here’s to 2012!
    Lizzie

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