Paddling Out to Surf


I’ve never surfed, but I’d like to.

To me, it’s the perfect combination of athleticism, balance, strength, beauty, control, power, grace and nature. When I watch surfers, I find myself in awe of what they are capable of doing. Even the bad ones are good, and I know that if I were to try, I would find myself way below the “bad ones”, at least initially. Yet I know that eventually I’ll give it a shot, despite the fact that I grew up in Kansas and now I live in Tennessee (not exactly surfing hotbeds, you know?).

I was talking with another Egoscue therapist the other day who is going through a very stressful time in her life. We were talking about all that was happening when she said, “You know… it’s kind of like surfing. You have to paddle out through the waves to reap the reward.”

Wow. Isn’t that SO true?

Life isn’t always easy.

This journey that we’re on isn’t always smooth. 

Life is full of ups and downs.

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There is no doubt in my mind that you’ve faced rough times. You have faced your fair share of waves crashing over you — Sometimes a never-ending cycle of them.

I’ve been there, and, to put it mildly, it’s not pleasant. When you’re in the thick of it, when chronic pain is a minute-by-minute thought in your mind, your rough stretch seems inedible, your pain insurmountable. The waves continually crash, you’re getting pounded pushed farther and farther under the water, and you’re struggling to even catch your breath. 

And time and again you’re paddling out, you see the wave coming your way and you think, “If I can just make it past this wave, it’ll be smooth sailing the other side!” But often times the reality of the situation is that as you crest that wave, you quickly realize there are three others behind it. Your struggle continues. Your struggle is real.

But, I’m here to tell you that it isn’t undoable. It’s not insurmountable. Your struggle won’t win. Today I want you to hear — really hear– that you’re enough. Today I want you to hear — really hear– your body is enough. 

Paddle on. Press through. Because only when you get on the back side of the wave can you turn around and see just how far you have come. And only then will you be able to reap the reward for all of your hard work. Only then will it be smooth sailing.

But you have to keep paddling. 

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QUESTION: When have you felt the waves continually crashing down on you?