Final Thoughts On Surfing

Ten lessons in, injuries abound and am I more of a surfer than I was a week ago? Yes, I suppose I am, as I have actually been surfing (for one) and know the technique (for two) although am still yet to be at a stage where I can apply the technique.

Surfing should have taught me to relax more. In a way it has, as it has shown me just how many anxieties that I have. Money, timing, these are the two main ones. For this trip I was helpfully ferried everywhere by the staff at the surf club. Being surfers, they were often late. One thing that sends my anxiety into overdrive is sitting on a step waiting for a car to come with no way of contacting the driver, especially if it is my car to the airport. My mind thinks of ten different ways to get to the airport, all of which will hopefully not result in missing my flight or spending too much money. The driver came. They always came.

Even out on the sea, I couldn’t every fully relax into it. It’s true what they say: the less you think about it, the easier it becomes. This morning the waves were flat and I spent most of the time paddling around on the flat. That was remarkable. Though tiring. Oh how my poor muscles and brain have been overworking.

I don’t think I’m sociable enough to be a surfer.

I will miss the rolling of the waves, and even the sea crashing relentlessly into my face. I won’t missing changing into and out of wetsuits.

I can stand on the board, in spite of my bruised legs and blackened foot (a bad landing is a bad landing indeed). I will try surfing again. Once you have the basics, you can go off and do. But this will likely be my only “pure” surf holiday, a holiday that I still fit a lot of sightseeing into. I like to try new things. I’m a commitment phobe of sorts.

Being alone for a week has been both a blessing and a nuisance (not a curse, I wouldn’t put it that far) as other people can help assuage worries just by merely being there. You feel less stranded in a crowd. Three newbies landed this morning. They will have a less alone week.The girl that I spoke to (who told me of another couple being there) said I must have been lonely and bored, but I was immediately grateful for my week of relative solitude. Classes break it  up a little, even if everyone else is speaking Portuguese. She was English as well, and her anxiety was growing I could see. Maybe it’s a great British-Portuguese divide.

A girl in one of the surf classes said that her hero is Queen Elizabeth I. She was 15 and Portuguese. A Swiss soon-to-be Commodities Trader is venturing through Portugal with no real plans to learn to surf and find some spots. I wish I had the confidence and freedom of others sometimes. I can work on that. Time is fluid. Like the sea!

Here ends another good trip, where I have let loose, tightened up, and learned a lot about myself. Life learning never ends, just as the waves never stop (ick).

Final note: Porto Airport is one of the best that I’ve been to. Easy access to the city, unlimited wifi, a good Duty Free, mobile charging points, and even water! The Portuguese are very hospitable.



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