Learning to surf is one of the best decisions I have made in my life.
Moving to Portugal, being able to spend everyday at the ocean, a dream come true!
Not being a child any more and learning new skills comes at a price. You have to be prepared to get injured, at least be aware that it’s a possibility. New experiences, many things to learn, to improve, to train, to try and to fail, to get up again and try as long as it takes, to not give up.
I spent most of my first year as a surfer healing and recovering instead of surfing and evolving, or, hang on, is that true? Actually it‘s not! Yes, I could not spend as much time in the water as I wanted to, but I still learned and evolved!
Recovering from sport injuries happens on different levels:
- There is the physical recovery: healing cuts and bruises, ligaments, tendons, bones etc.
- Then there is the emotional recovery: dealing with and overcoming pain, frustration, disappointment, anger, depression etc.
But my personal biggest challenge was the mental part of recovery: staying positive, staying strong, working on the right mindset, learning to see injury as a chance and not as a roadblock, accepting the time it takes as a time to work on other skills on wider aspects of the sport, theory instead if practice, reading books and articles, watching videos, listening to podcasts and most of all practicing visualization as a training technique.
Learning about your injury, accepting it, working through the process of rehab to finally recover is hard and takes energy, I would be lying to say it‘s a walk in the park, but what‘s the alternative? Right, there is none, because if the last thing at night and the first thing in the morning is the ocean and the forecast it is simply the way you have to go, the challenge you have to accept and the journey you have to continue.
Coming back with new scars, bruised ego, shattered confidence, shaky legs and an upset stomach is part of the experience, it takes time, courage and guts, a helping hand and friends.
Taking a step back, going slow, being patient and supportive to oneself takes quite a commitment and is an excellent training for patients, self compassion and inner peace.
If you are able to face your fears, leave your doubts behind, get inspired, motivated, to personally grow and learn from this time then you really come back stronger.
Seeing and experiencing mind blocks is important and to figure out ways to transform them is a quest. Sometimes it is not about the obvious progress, sometimes it‘s simply about showing up and breathing through the fear, not giving up, not taking the easy way out.
The beauty about a beginner mindset is the freedom it brings to do mistakes over and over as long as it takes.
And catching a wave for the first time again – totally worth it!