The Sun is still shining strong. A huge swell has hit these magical islands called the Canarias. Last night I couldn´t sleep because of the sound of the giant waves crashing against the rocks. All beaches have been closed for safety reasons. I drive to the surfing spot. The waves are huge! There are no surfers in the water. I can see some treacherous currents in the ocean. Yet, the waves are perfect… what do I do?
Your mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy. What happens if I hit a rock? What happens if I loose my surfboard? Will the currents take me into the open sea?
I´ve been surfing for 53 years. That relation with the ocean taught me to listen to the voice of my heart, not my mind. My mind tells me not to get into the water. My heart tells me to follow my dreams. I listen to my heart, and suddenly my mind becomes my best friend. “Can you think of a better way to leave this world that in the crest of a wave?” my mind asks me.
“No,” I answer.
After avoiding the sharp rocks, I jump into the ocean. I follow the currents, for I will never be able to swim against them. They are too strong. Go with the flow of life, never against it.
Fifteen minutes later I am at the place where the waves crash, sitting in my board, waiting. Suddenly I see lines in the horizon. The waves are coming…
I start to paddle towards the horizon. They are huge! Twice my size. I can feel my heart beating faster and faster. And I remember a lesson learned long ago: the wave won´t kill you: panic will. Because there is a critical difference between fear and panic, and that difference is what will decide my fate.
The waves are here. I barely go over the first one before it crashes. The second one is bigger. That is my wave, calling me. I place myself in position, and paddle as hard as I can. I feel I am one with the ocean. Now the wave pushes me. Time to take the drop. I concentrate in my balance. Perfect timing. When I reach the bottom of the wave I turn to the left, so to avoid the mountain of surf to drag me to the bottom of the ocean. I barely make it. And then comes the wall of green-emerald wall of water I have been waiting for. My surfboard catches speed. These are the moments I live for. Riding this monstrous wave will last for less than a minute, but the memory will last forever. And just when the wave is about to close into an explosion of foam and energy, I exit it. I´m speechless. My heart is happy. My soul is at peace.
That afternoon I surfed 5 of the best waves of my life. It´s time to leave, as the sun has already kissed the horizon. I carefully maneuver to shore, to avoid the volcanic rocks and underwater caves. I am finally out of the water. Exhausted, but feeling more alive than ever.
I start walking, and suddenly I see many tourists taking photographs. But that is not important for me.
For I have conquered my fears, once more. I´ve done what my mind told me it was impossible to do. Could I have died? Maybe. But I didn´t.
And while walking back to my car, humble as always, I smile. The best is yet to come. No doubt about it.
For I know that, no matter what, I will keep living, rather than existing. A risk I will take until the day I leave this wonderful world.
A promise is a promise…a dreamer…