My elixir. My kryptonite.

Being a surfer in New England comes with it's ups and downs. But, for the most part, I gotta say that I generally walk the earth feeling that I am undoubtedly blessed with the key to something special. Surfing has become in a way, my religion, my sustenance and my muse.

At times, it has also been my kryptonite.

For me, a good enough wave can bring tears of happiness to the eyes and a chemical reaction within the body that nothing can touch. OK... almost nothing. As I paddle back to the line-up I am smiling inside and out and thanking the universe for what I have. Every moment, every wave is savored.

I try to get a visual record of every session and have been photo-journaling on flickr for the last 4 years. The best days are the rarest ones of course, when there are fun waves, sunshine and a handful of my favorite surfers in the water.


In the summer, spring and fall it is not unusual for me to wake as early as 4:00 am, drive an hour or more to the surf, and arrive there at first light so I can get a solid session in before work.


On the longest summer days I can go after work if I hustle. In fact, those before/after work sessions always come with a little extra stoke in knowing I got my surf time and still made it to work.

But January and February. Ouch. The sun isn't even up until 7 and is basically done by 4. During the winter months I find that my blessing quickly becomes my curse.

Now, for me, MISSING surf is most definitely a worse condition than NO surf. Flatspells suck, but if there is no surf then at least there is peace in knowing that you couldn't go no matter how badly you wanted to. A flat day is a good time to make art, write in your blog, get a pedicure, and salvage relationships with friends and family that have suffered in the name of surfing.

But In January, when I am at work, and I look at the web cams and I see that there is a good swell, I know I am basically setting myself up for a one-way ride to hell.

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Suddenly every glib, care-free voice in the surrounding cubicles grates on me. Every pixel I am pushing feels like a life-sentence. I curse the little surfer people in the cams that have their priorities in order and have figured out how to get to the surf when the getting's good. I feel trapped and alone and like I am not living the life I want to live. I think of the surf movie "Free and Easy" and the tagline that goes with it: "Surfers live the life they love, and love the life they live.". Where is my life I love? Am I forever damned to weekend-warrior status?

So I continue to search for solutions. I weigh and survey every factor of my life. Slowly, I begin the process of moving towards a more balanced existence. Maybe it means moving far away or maybe it just means moving to a more surfy community around here. I saturate myself with twitter feeds, blog posts, and flickr collections from other surfers who are living the lives they love.

And every year at this time – since the first day I went surfing up at the Wall in New Hampshire nearly 5 years ago (thank-you Justin!) – my surf angst has always been been tinged with a gold-lining. I find comfort in knowing that I have something I love so much and that I know I have only begun to tap into.

The good prevails over evil everytime.



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