after seeing LRO's video the other day, i got the itch to surf again. as if i didn't hate winter enough already, i am again aching to get back into the icy cold ocean. i love to tell people about my experiences surfing (thanks to life rolls on and they will surf again) because it instantly became truly one of my favorite things to do. after being deprived of playing in the ocean for 11 years, how could it not be? the most common reaction i get from people (though normally awkward and hesitant) is a confused look and the question "how?" i never got a chance to share my 2nd surfing experience in virgina beach in august... so here it is, your step by step for how to surf with no legs. adaptive surfing:
step 1 (top left): be pushed in big, bulky awkward beach wheelchair into the water. hugs and cuddle time with LRO volunteers as they pick up surfer.
step 2 (top right): lots of physical contact with LRO volunteers who gently drop surfer down onto surfboard. everyone is watching.
step 3 (bottom left): more romantic touching while overwhelming fear and panic sets in as the ice cold water takes away any little sensation surfer had left.
step 4 (bottom right): even more contact: hand on surfer's butt for ultimate intimacy... and to ensure surfer doesn't fall off as it's time to head out to sea.
step 5 (below): go team go! team fights the tough angry ocean and pulls surfer and board out. surfer can paddle, but this one does nothing to help... except hold on for dear life, get piercing splashes of salt water up her nose and shivers uncontrollably. gratefully and happily, of course.
step 6 (below): time to ride waves! favorite team member and friend holds onto back of board, kicks, and guides board to shore. ensures surfer does not drown and die.
step 7 (below): about 5 dozen volunteers chase or run after surfer to catch at end of wave. almost impossible to fall off board when there are so many helping hands.
step 8 (below): training wheels come off and time to ride wave all alone like a big girl!
step 9 (below): lack of training wheels leads to near death experience. crash, fear, panic turned into excitement and fun. (it was actually really fun to fall off and bob in the water until someone came to scoop me.)
step 10 (above): honeymoon style. to the rescue! my hero!
step 11: get back on board. ride new wave. repeat again and again and again! happiness on the ocean.
that's it! lots of help from the absolutely amazing volunteers. this wouldn't be possible without them. i can't show enough gratitude.
i can't imagine how simple (perhaps unexciting?) this may seem to many people. even though we can't do it the "normal" way, it's magical. possibly even more magical. life rolls on has given so many of us a chance to experience something i'm sure we all thought we'd never be able to again. i don't get emotional over many things, but thinking about this and how i felt gets me all warm and happy on the inside.