Yesterday, despite wonky conditions, I grabbed my surfboard + paddled out. Since you don’t see many women who shortboard, I spotted Her right away. While I sat on the inside surfing the leftover scraps, She sat on the outside centered in the middle of the lineup, positioned to take the set waves. I watched as She plucked out the best waves from each set, loudly shouted “OFF!”, beat everyone to their feet then proceeded to ride the wave while all of us watched. While She was good - really good - it wasn’t Her skill set that made Her stand out. It was how matter of fact She was about what She was doing. While the rest of us stared at Her searching for signs of smugness + ego, She just surfed. Zero Doubts. Zero Explanations. Zero Apologies. She wasn't there to prove anything to anyone.
Monday through Thursday, I wake up at 4:30am, lace up my running shoes + hit the trails at Cowles Mountain. With desert blood coursing through my veins, I’m fast. Super fast. And every early morning Cowles regular knows it. While hiking etiquette dictates that trail runners get the right of way, I often find myself stopping, slowing down, or taking the lead in the politeness department instead of taking my rightful place on the trail. This morning, as I laced up my running shoes, I couldn’t stop thinking about Her – about how naturally + nonchalant She was about taking Her spot in the lineup. So, I decided to do something a little different. Checking politeness at the door + only making exceptions for the few who couldn’t hear my approach warnings, I ran the entire trail fast enough to drown out the voices in my head. I hit a flow state so powerful I barely remember the run. By the time I finished, everything in my body was tingling. For once, I didn’t care that other people were forced to move for me. I also didn’t care that I shaved 4 minutes off of my run time. For once, there were Zero Doubts. Zero Explanations. Zero Apologies. I wasn’t there to prove anything to anyone.
I wonder what our world would look like if we took ego + apologies out of our individual talents + treated them as truth – as fact. I also wonder what our world would look like if we took our ego + assumptions out of others’ individual talents + treated them as truth – as fact. While I don't know anything for sure, it seems that life on land + in the water would be a little less difficult + a lot more fulfilling for everyone across the board.
Wishing You Waves + Days With Zero Doubts, Zero Explanations + Zero Apologies.
K (+ the Saltwater Fix Family)