miedo al océano

Hi! If the fear of the ocean is stopping you from learning surf, or if you already surf but the fear is stopping you from improving or surfing bigger waves, I invite you to read my story.

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I faced many fears while learning to surf. And, I hope my experience from surfing and how it influenced my life in general, motivates you to overcome yours.

The important issue, is not ‘not to be afraid’, but identify the fears, accept them and try that our courage builds stronger, and thus be able to overcome them.

Sometimes, people tell me that I’m so brave at surf or things like:
-It doesn’t scare you?
-Are you crazy?!
-Ocean demands respect.

fear of the ocean
Photo: @pabloforuria

To be honest, I didn’t pretend to write so long about fear, but I have to divide it into four parts.
Fears are many, yet it is possible to overcome them.
That goes for every fear in life.

I think, in surfing, everything starts with the fear of the ocean. We excuse ourselves telling that it is respect to the ocean. Bullshit. It’s fear.
Respect is what we have for our grandparents, but we are not afraid of them. Do you get the difference?

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I was afraid of the ocean as well, maybe it was because I used to live far away from it.
So I didn’t consider myself as a fish in the water, like many of you that have the privilege of living close to the ocean and it’s kind of natural for you.

When I faced the sea, and then the ocean, I thought it wouldn’t scare me, but of course, I used to be just on the shore, jumping into some waves and then going out. After knowing this world wonder (saltwater with waves), I decided to learn surfing. And was then, when I realised that I was afraid of the ocean, and it was not just respect, as I believed.

At the beginning it was easy, whereas, when you learn how to surf, you are in the foam, with the water up to your waist. You stay always close to the shore, where you feel safe, a sort of comfort zone.

In the following link you can read about my first time surfing.

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But there was a moment during my learning, which was the time to get into the lineup or peak, and was at that moment when I realised that I was really afraid of the ocean.
What adrenaline!
We see all the advanced surfers there, calmed, sitting on their boards, looking at the horizon, ready for their next wave.
And we think: how I get there?
It demands strength, fitness, lot of paddle, and a big mind control.

I suggest you, if you like to experience the lineup in a relaxed way and enjoy it, but you don’t have all the skills yet, do it during an easy day.

How? With someone else, a flat day or with very small waves, glassy, and at a spot that the lineup is close to the shore.
Even if that day you don’t catch a wave, you can paddle, practice to sit on the board, and feel the enormous happiness of being in that place of unique meditation we all love.

After all, the lineup is a place of safety, way more than being where the waves are breaking.

fear of the ocean

When I started to surf it was really hard for me to get to the lineup, due to the beach where I used to surf, the lineups were very offshore, and I had to pass many waves coming to their breaking point.

As soon I got there, if I was able to catch some waves, entering again was exhausting.
But it’s the best training!
You gain a lot of arm strength, resistance and fitness.
You get that when you catch that green wonderful wave, even if it’s the only one of the day, that wave, it paid off utterly.

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Returning to the fear of the ocean, I was really afraid of staying alone on the lineup. Even when I went with friends or sometimes I stayed alone, and on occasions I decided to go alone surfing, sitting there on my board it really scared me!
I used to think that a fish would bite me, or if something moved close to me, I paddled like crazy to the shore.

Those are fears that we go through stage by stage, is the fear to the unknown, while not being in the comfort zone with the feet on the sand.

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Also, when I started to surf in bigger swells, and I was at the safety zone in the lineup, I watched the huge waves coming but I was afraid to surf them, so I used to stay there waiting to stop.
And I used to think: how am I going to get out?
I can’t go out without being caught by one of those waves.
But there is always a way to go out.

Nowadays, there is no place in the world that I like the most than being on the lineup, sitting on my surfboard, alone or with someone else, looking to the horizon, waiting for that perfect wave.
And if there are no waves, just meditate, thanking life for the water, and enjoy the sunset as the sun is falling into the ocean.

fer of the ocean

I have a cabala. When I’m surfing and a little fish jumps close to me, it means everything is ok, and I stay enjoying the surfing.
But when my intuition tells me it is enough, or the universe is sending me clear signals of danger, I just finish my surf session.
You know yourself better than anyone else, and you know how much you can handle.
Little by little we need to work on our fears.

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Thank you for joining me in this story, I hope you overcome your fears of the ocean and start to enjoy it.

In the next post: The fears part II, I write about the fear of being hit by the surfboard.
Don’t miss it!

Sending you a big hug,
Iva.

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