Today I drove to the beach around noon. There was a storm on the horizon and the winds had already turned onshore, whipping the waves into a silvery soup. It didn’t look that appealing, but I paddled out anyways. I felt a need to wash away the dirt and sweat from a morning of hard work. My worries washed away as soon as my head ducked under the first wave.
Surfing is my place to meditate. Sensing the wind, scanning where the next wave is going to break, watching the pelicans skimming over the swells—my vision expands to encompass all the beauty around me. There are no phones ringing, no sounds of traffic or construction. My breath slows down when I sit and stare out at the horizon, emptying my mind of all thoughts except the movements of the ocean around me.
The ocean is my gym. Often I am up at dawn, driving to my favorite break to catch while the tide is right and the winds are still offshore. I keep my body flexible through yoga and stretching, with the goal to make each ride longer with more powerful turns and the ability to contort into barrel sections. I run on the beach to expand my lung capacity for long hold-downs or three-hour surf sessions when the waves just keep getting better. And I paddle for miles, month after month, which has kept me in the best shape of my life.
Riding waves is not just what it’s all about. Surfing is my refuge. When things in life are not going my way, I can let it go and just focus on the present. Every duck dive washes away negative energy and tension that can build up from work and stress.
While I am sitting on my board I can reflect on the positive things going in life, my health, my friends and family, how lucky I am to be in Costa Rica and have the ability to surf in tropical seas.
These are the reasons I love surfing. To me it is not a sport, but a lifestyle. It is my reason to live healthy, stay connected to the ocean and nature, and a way to find inner peace. If you want to come join me, just contact me through CRsurf.com on Instagram or Facebook.
Greg Gordon is the owner of CR Surf Travel Company, helping surfers plan trips to Costa Rica. He has run a weekly surf report since 1998 and has surfed extensively on both the Pacific and Caribbean Coasts.