A nose enema of salt water surged through my nasal passages and then rushed out through my nostrils taking mucus with it in a salty, snotty blob. While I rose up in the ocean foam, my oversized rash guard billowed and water flushed through the too-big wetsuit I was wearing.
The leash attached to my ankle tugged my leg as the surfboard caught another wave without me. Another small water wall came by and knocked me off balance and cold water flowed through my suit once more.
This battering did not matter, however, because I had stood up on a surfboard. Although the experience only lasted for less than one minute, I had ridden a wave before another one slammed down and churned me up. It was short but awesome and I wanted to do it again.
In fact, it was January 6, 2010, and already I had fulfilled my New Year’s Resolution, which was to try surfing, a sport I had always wanted to learn. Aqua Camp, in Santa Barbara, CA, had inspired me. My parents enrolled my sister and me in the program during the summer of 1980.