The ‘system check’
Otherwise known as, “Good I’m still alive”, or “Oh, that wasn’t so bad was it”.
Back from the dead
You gob and gawp and hack at the briny blue.
Have you been under for three minutes?
You fell on the biggest wave you’ve ever tried. You ate it.
Four minutes? More?
Show’s over folks, nothing to see here
No, you haven’t been under for three minutes.
The likelihood is that you haven’t been under for 10 seconds.
Before you have time to think about anything else. Ask yourself. Are you okay.
This is what paramedics are taught to do. It’s what Marshalls at rallies are told to prioritise if a car flies off a cliff.
Before you take action (in this case, panic – which is deadly), take a breath. Allow your brain to compute.
Then ask yourself how your body feels. Was there any real worry?
If you feel shaken up, paddle in and sit on the beach. If not, crack on! You’ve got this.
Laugh in the face of it
Recently I’ve tackled some of the biggest waves of my life. Head high and then some. They’re the kind of waves I never planned to take on. Never dreamed I would.
But there’s been a change. The people I surf with wear smiles. When I take a beating, they laugh at my misfortune. They clap me on the back afterwards and tell me how much joy they took from my misery.
And it’s working.
With a confident approach – and what gives you confidence like your friends making light of a situation that scared you – the experience is much more enjoyable.