Monday, November 22, 2010

Surf´s Up!

I just did another thing to add to my list of stupid things, I surfed. You would think that growing up on an island, I´d already have surfing down pat. The truth is that I never had the chance to try it.

This morning, I arrived in Trujillo, a town along the northern coastline of Peru that is famous for its waves. After donning our wetsuits, our guide had me and an Australian guy practice on the sand. We had two positions and then "Up!" at which point we had to jump up and assume surfing position. It was a bit like doing push ups, the up-down-up-down motion.

Surfing is hard work. First you have to paddle yourself and our board far from shore and out into the water, all the while swimming against the force of the incoming current. Jumping onto the board also takes a good deal of arm strength and leaves you sore (and me with a bruise) from where you repeatedly hit your chest with the board.

The first hour-and-a-half was rough. I got whacked by my board, swallowed nearly a gallon of salt water, and neardly had someone land on me with their board. To combat my exhaustion, my instructor cheerfully encouraged me, "¡Sí, se puede!" ("Yes, you can!"). It took several tries to get me off my knees and onto my feet, but even then I wouldn't let go of the board with my hands. When I finally stood up and started surfing, it was exhilerating. It felt like flying. I can't wait to give it another go tomorrow!

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