Congratulations to me, today is my birthday. Not the day you are reading this, but the day I am writing it. September 29, 2011. I’m the proverbial “another year older today.” Full-fledged GEEZER, to say the least. The funny part about the aging process is that your mind still thinks it’s in its prime time, while the body strongly disagrees. Some more than others. I am one of the lucky ones who is still reasonably functional at a time when many have given up on any thoughts of excessive physical activity all together and have taken to daytime television and long walks from the couch to the dinner table, and possibly back again.
I get asked often how it is that I can still surf many hours every day and not seem to break down from that much physical demand. I don’t have a secret formula or anything like that. In fact, many younger friends who work very hard at staying in surfing condition wonder how in the heck I can do it without having some sort of “routine” or diet, or whatever, like most of them do.
I think the reason I can still do it is pretty simple. I can surf everyday because I surf every day. It in itself is the exercise routine my body craves to keep itself happy and in shape. “In shape” is a relative term though. If you look at me you can see that I am NOT in shape as is the popular conception. I’m a bit fat and have a ton of aches and pains. Aches and pains go with the amount of surfing hours and age. I can deal with that by getting fairly regular massages and having the luxury of owning one of those killer Human Touch® massage chairs. That is my therapy. I do very little in the way of stretching or yoga. I keep thinking I should do more but all I ever do is a few minutes of simple leg and back stretches, and then I paddle right out. Sometimes I just yawn and go.
If there is any secret to being able to still surf hard and long at the more mature time in your life I think it is to just keep doing it as much as you can. It’s when you stop that your body weakens, and then it gets harder and harder to make that late drop, lean into a carve bottom turn, jam it off the top or even just make the paddle out. I never want to stop surfing, it makes me happy and is the essence of my life. I kinda am the poster kid for the “live to surf, surf to live” tribe.
That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Surf as much as possible, take care of the pains with massage, no real diet other than nothing in excess. I am always moaning about wanting to be thinner and in better shape. But the fact is that I might not be in very “good looking” shape but I can paddle out and surf as hard or harder than most guys half my age (yeah I know that half my age is still pretty old, shut up!) As long as I keep surfing I think I have a long way to go before that last big spin out.
I feel good, am lucky to have a beautiful and fun wife and am happy. And, I have the desire still and can paddle out and surf as much as I want. Happy Birthday to me. Now, where’s my cake?