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Show Up Early, Show Up Often, and Stay Late

Huntington Beach US Surfing Open
Photo Credit: Pedro Szekely via Compfight

Show up Early

The reason surfers get up so early in the morning is that surf conditions are usually better.  If you show up too late, the conditions could go to shit and you potentially miss that opportunity to catch one good wave.  Show up early and you get rewarded. Better seats, nobody’s drunk yet, and everyone is in a good mood.  When you show up early attention is undivided.

Show up Often

I couldn’t stand up on a surfboard the first 15 times I got in the water.  But I just kept showing up and it eventually clicked.  Those fifteen sessions have turned into a lifelong journey of saltwater therapy.

Most people show up once, maybe twice, and call it quits. They’re unwilling to let go of the need visible progress which is critical to accomplishing something of significance. The more often you do something the better you’ll get at it.  Surfing, snowboarding, sex, and writing all get better with practice.  If you’re the kind of person who is willing to get in the water even when the conditions suck, you’ll kick some serious ass when the conditions are good.

Stay Late

My average surf session is 3-4 hours.  Of course after a surf session, I smile like a Zen Buddhist on ecstasy, eat like a horse, and sleep like a baby.  I’m kind of useless and damn it feels good.

When you surf you learn to deal with somebody else’s schedule all the time: mother nature. She decides when she wants to dance, when she wants to play, and when she wants to sleep.  She’s the kind of woman who tells you she wants to dance, calls you over and falls asleep when you show up (we call this a lull).  You can whine, you can complain and nag her to death, but she won’t wake up until she wants to. The lesson is simple. Nature rewards our patience.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve stayed in the water far past when everybody else calls it quits, the conditions improve and every wave is mine for the taking. When you stay late unexpected opportunities come your way.

Staying late can make the difference between two waves in a surf session and twenty. Sometimes accomplishment occurs in the final hours of your goal. 

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