The start of my surfing journey
I am new to surfing.
I am 22 years old, and for the last 10 years have suffered from ankylosing spondylitis to a severe degree, ulcerative colitis and recently 'enteropathic spondyloarthropathy' which basicaly is a spondylitis related pain...(extremely painful). All of these things severely limit my hi and back flexibility and when flexing, bending etc I often feel extreme pain.
I have started yoga and meditating which both seem to help with the flexibility and relaxation (I also suffered depression and anxiety) and in the process came across surfing and fell in love with it!
I'm not sure if there are any deeper/spiritual kind of surfers here, but the feeling of peace and just, pure aliveness I feel when surfing/attempting to surf is just incredible.
I was recently in contact with a surfing instructor. She told me she started surfing when she was 23 years old. Within two years (surfing everyday) she came first in a county competition, and then fifth in her country. I have a past with skateboarding which I was quite good at and I realised that I really can achieve something great if I have the #1- Discipline, #2 - passion and #3 persistance.
I have decided to make it one of my goals to become as good at surfing as I can be to prove to myself that I can overcome my limitations with spondylitis, to heal myself, to prove to myself that I can achieve anything and to become an inspiration for all those that may be in a similar situation to me.
I want people to look at what I achieved with the limitations I have in the future, and use it to push their own lives forward. To face their own problems and build a better life and world for themselves.
I am not exactly in a wheel chair, but I do find it increasingly difficult and painful just to move. But I am determined not to let this get in the way of my hopes, dreams, aspirations and confidence!
I live 50 miles away from the nearest beach, however, I am lucky enough to live near some of the best surfing beaches in the world (cornwall and north devon) for consistant waves. I would have to call myself a 'weekend warrior' but I plan to go at least once a week, and during the week crosstrain with yoga, weight training and whatever other activity may crop up. I am thinking further along the lines a carveboard, balance board (although my balance skills are already very good from skateboarding in my past).
One quote that has remained with me for a long time is that of Bill Hicks. "Life is a constant choice between fear or love". I have made the choice of love and I know that if I stick with it, do not compare myself to others...but when I do realise that it will pass...things will turn out better than I can or even should bother imagining, and most likely a lot different. I see life as like the waves in an ocean. You slowly learn to ride the waves. You will fall. But you HAVE to fall in order to learn to do it better.
I will post a blog each week of my progress, what I found hard or easy etc of each surf session. Hopefully in years to come others can look back and feel inspired by this, and go out there and not let anything get in the way between themselves and their own dreams.