Saturday, May 14, 2011

Florida - The Hoop & The Waveski

Rained in the Great Pacific Northwest for almost the whole time I was gone. No rain in Florida, 80 degree days and oh should I mention sunshine, my GPNW neighbors didn't even want to hear about it.

I went there to work and when I say work it really was because it was Indoors. I won't write about that, but I will mention that I took time of to run a sandy trail, walk the beach, play tennis and shoot hoops. I also hit the waves body surfing and using the waveski.

When I was a kid, not knowing how poor I was but pretty poor, most of my time was spent playing sports. Grades came easy so I was usually found with a basketball in my hands. My dad welded a support for a plywood backboard that we attached to a tree in the backyard. My playing surface was hard packed dirt. It sounds so pathetic when I write about it but it wasn't to me at the time and still isn't.

Anyway last week in Florida I went to the local park and played on the cement courts and worked up a sweat. Low sun, humidity, and just me the ball and the hoop.  I don't "swish" the ball through the net as much as I used to but the feeling is still there. Peace and tranquility through movement.

Some New Age (for lack of a better term) engage in various free form creative dancing. I'd like to try that some time but I think I get pretty close to where they want to go out there on the court. I've played organized basketball from the fourth grade up through my early fifties so I also know the feeling about being in sync with others but I still know a sense of completeness when I am out there by myself.

The same feeling is there on the waveski - sometimes at least. My first morning on the ski left me frustrated. The waves were breaking close to each other and getting out beyond the surf was a chore. Dumping and trying to get back on was difficult because it had to be done quickly before another wave broke on top on me. The waves themselves were steeply pitched and I found myself getting tipped up on the nose of the board before I could pull it up to plane on the wave.  I left the beach feeling a little beat up.

On the last day I was there I went out just after dawn and saw neat rows of waves spread pretty far apart with a glassy surface and an offshore breeze. I sprinted back to the house for the ski and paddle. What difference. I caught wave after wave. The newest sensation for me was the sound of the waves. Sitting on the ski outside of the zone where the waves were breaking the sound that the waves made when they did break was completely different than the sound one hears when you are in front of them. I think you had to be there to appreciate it, it's that hard to describe.

I have a long way to go before I'll be comfortable on the waveski, I learn, or I should say, my body/mind acquires a greater sense of what needs to be done to ride a wave every time I am successful out there. What fun.

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