On Surf Lessons and Trying New Things

When we went to the beach a few weeks ago, Kate and Lexi had their first surf lesson.

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They have been interested in surfing for a long time and dreamed of having a chance to try it for themselves. Most people in Memphis and Birmingham go to the Gulf when they go to the beach, but we always go to the Atlantic with my family. I figured we should take advantage of the upside of the longer drive and give them a little something to remember. It started with a long walk to the beach, carrying their boards.

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They patiently learned all the things you need to learn on the beach. They did safety exercises and practiced good posture. They tried a few things from just a few yards out, getting a feel for the board under their feet. Then we watched as the instructor led them out far from the shore.

From what I could tell, a lot of surfing is waiting. The rest of it is hard work, paddling and fighting the waves. It is scary to be out far beyond the breakers, even if you have an surf board to hang on to and an experienced instructor. (It’s pretty terrifying for those watching from the beach as well.)

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Then there are the few seconds you have to find your balance as you try to get on your feet. I wish you could see the delight on Kate’s face when she realized she was really surfing.


Trying new things is not easy. Watching Kate and Lexi learn to surf was thrilling and frightening and humbling all at once.

The whole experience made me start thinking about this latest round of job hunting. It’s hard to put myself out there and be willing to fail. But like a child who dreams of catching a wave and popping up onto her feet, I must be prepared to fall and to let the waves beat me. Only then will I know the true delight of doing what I only hoped I could. Thankful for these two, parenting them is a constant education.

3 responses to “On Surf Lessons and Trying New Things

  1. Kristen, a job hunt is perfect for a surfing analogy. You paddle out, turn and paddle hard, miss the wave, catch another, get knocked down, repeat, but eventually you ride one all the way to the shore when you land a new job. And then you stop to think, “Did I make it to shore on my own, or did the wave carry me here?” Can’t help but think of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives at that point.


    P.S. Our son took surf lessons last summer. I should blog on that some day, too.

  2. Well, I was going to point out how perfect this is but Tim beat me to it. And so eloquently. :)

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