Like a child, walking on water

This weekend, I rode a wave for the first time.

I’ve always loved the seas. I grew up looking forward to seeing a big body of water. Growing up in a land-locked province, I was always excited for the summer season to hit – there is always the possibility of going to Mama’s home town. This means being near a beach, and possibly, possibly! going to the beach. We earlier rode passenger ferries to take us to Bohol, and I always feel powerful in a ship – we are cutting across waters, somewhat walking on top, never sinking (which isn’t always the case, but that is another story).

It took me awhile to summon the courage to try bodyboarding. I sometimes fear very deep waters, since I can not “stretch” my body to be both above water and still grounded on solid ground. But these slight twitches hasn’t stopped me from riding smaller boats, or ride a jet ski, or snorkel, or jumping of a 25ft ledge/mini-fall to hit a 35ft deep pool. Scuba diving is still in my bucket list. And I want to surf.

I finally summoned the guts to try it this weekend. The waves were perfect, big enough to push you towards the shore, but not big enough for me to feel overwhelmed. There weren’t many people at Ambay; hindi ko naramdaman na tatawanan nila ako kung mahulog ako sa board. At dahil kami lang ni Darlene ang nandun, kayang-kaya naming i-bully/support ang isa’t isa na subukan mag-board, kahit once lang. But the best confidence builder were Ate Leah and Kuya Paul, who were such nice people and allowed us to try it kahit na wala sa weekend program ang boarding.

Kuya Paul was patient enough to explain, and show, how to hold the board, find your wave, waddle (appropriate for me) towards the waves you want to ride, and basically control your board. Observer mode muna habang pinanonood syang sumakay. Once I finally tried it, I held on to my board, and surrendered to the wave coming to get me.

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It was exhilarating! The wave felt smooth and silky, and pushed you towards the shore. If you have body issues (ang bigat ko! Hindi ako matutulak ng alon dahil sa bigat ko!), mawawala yan habang tinutulak ka ng alon. Admittedly, there are several times na nahulog ako sa board, at gumulong-gulong sa tubig habang may bagong alon na kumain sa akin, I didn’t feel panicked, or scared; I felt challenged to do it again, and do it right.

Riding the board for the first time made me remember that feeling of strength. Na, yup, pwedeng lumakad sa tubig, at hindi ko kailangan ng malaking barko (instrumento) para gawin iyon. It made me realise that in moments of frenzy, grief, obstacles, and other challenges, you just need to hold on to your board (whatever that you hold important and can ground you), and let the waves push you to safety.

Babalik ako ulit ng Ambay. Sasakay ulit ako ng board. Surfing will surely happen, soon.

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