(This article was first written in Dutch for http://holistik.nl/zachte-kant-van-surfen/)
“Wow! A real surfer girl, that’s cool” is a reaction I get quiet often from friends and people when I tell them that surfing is one of the reasons that I moved to a coastal national park in Portugal. I never feel very comfortable with this remark & don’t see myself as a cool surfer girl. After 11 years of surfing it’s a whole different side that attracts me. A magical side. One that you can already feel even when surfing the smallest of waves. It’s the time that you feel a deep unity with mother nature. The power of the ocean & the humbleness that it creates. Because of this surfing for me has become a spiritual experience, one that manifests itself as an outward expression of my yoga & meditation practice. Everything ceases to exist when for a moment you get pulled a long with the energy of the wave.
I think this side of surfing is exactly why it is such a good sport for women to try. The softer side, the connection with the ocean & the connection to yourself. I also believe that women bring this softer side with them into the water. Into a sport which is predominated by men, and where the female energy brings balance into this.
Nevertheless surfing is not always easy and there are numerous times when you can come against some pretty tough stuff. Maybe because the waves are too big. The ocean to rough or there are too many other surfers in the water. Even then it is always such a precious life experience when you get tumbled around, don’t know whether you are up or down and you are afraid that any moment you might loose control. This can be a real confrontation and you are always happy when you are back on shore trembling and in one piece. Even so you quickly come to the realisation that it was more about your thoughts and mood than the actual waves. This is the beauty of it all, and instead of getting angry and sad about it, it’s much better to embrace this and to be soft. We can then take this beautiful life experience into our day to day lives. Realising that we aren’t always capable of facing that big wave, that horrible remark or our children who are not having their day, and that this is ok. That tomorrow will be a new day. A day on which we can try again. On another wave and another experience. This is one of the main reasons why I surf. Each and every time is a wonderful experience and a lesson well learned. With it’s ups and downs, just like life.