(*I took this portal picture from an Instagram profile; credited to @the_hula, byhula.com. I’d like to demonstrate my gratitude for such a wonderful photo that captured his lifestyle motivation.)
I still remember the first time I was knocked down by massive Caribbean waves. Cristal clear water hid its merciless anger somewhere in its transparency, rolling me over and over from my surfboard. It was the time I visited Bocas del Toro, the province of Panama bordered with Costa Rica. I was passionate in learning how to surf those days, so I didn’t want to miss the very opportunity to enjoy one of the most well-known surfing-onda reservoirs. Eventually from that time as a milestone, I have visited areas like the Playa Venao (Panama), the Galapagos islands (Ecuador), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Puerto Escondido (Mexico), Pichilemu (Chile) for surfing. So in this sense Bocas del Toro has remained me as an important landscape that I can recall for surfing.
Additionally, I do remember the surf instructor that I had at Bocas del Toro. His name was Jose, a Venezuelan born, with an athletic physique, bald but bold. It seemed that he enjoyed being in addiction, since he came up late at the very first lesson, being high. But still, he could swim faster than any of us did. At the first lesson we had two men out; one had a shock when jumping into the water, not handling well to drift. He didn’t expect that having his feet off from the ground meant direct insecurity of living. The other man got tired of paddling arms to move forward, then the wave got him away from the shore. He also got panicked when he realised that his arms couldn’t move hard enough to come back to shore, so Jose went to rescue him. Maybe it was Jose’s fault leaving us at such place for professional surfers, knowing that all of us were just beginners.
On the other hand, I found myself quite enjoying all these sceneries. Sometimes on the boat, and sometimes in the water. Then eventually a girl and I were only one left on the group. I wasn’t that tired even after 3 or 4 hours of surfing. Jose told me once on the surfboard drifting next to me; that life is like a surfing experience. It’s hard to manage the waves that come, but once you know how to ride on those, you’d end up enjoying those. There is no settling ground here. We are living on the surfboard, drifting everywhere on the water. We enjoy this transparent water for this gave me more confidence on swimming and its beauty to see through. To surf one needs practices to master, as well to live a life.
There are people who flourish their lives on surfboard. There are then, living doble lives, as it seems to me. Another level of mastery performs, and I appreciate to see those masteries as to be a motivation for myself; to accomplish my own mastery in the near future. Surely I want to live around surfing beach like in Rio or Barcelona, and maybe in the future I’d have my opportunity to live in such environment. Until then, I could learn how to surf first to enjoy the maximum capacity not to miss out. The last time I surfed was last year in Chile. I could manage not to fall every time I’m on board; I know it’s getting better every time, and surely, the next time would be a lot better then. As what Jose told me the very first day, practices are needed.