Stoked for Life: The Only Way I Want to Live
July 6, 2011
It’s a well known fact among anybody who has ever surfed that all it takes is one good wave and you’ll be hooked like an addict with no hope for recovery. The first wave is a magic moment that changes your life forever and leaves wanting more for eternity. It starts as an interest or outlet, becomes a hobby, and if you really catch the bug bad, damn near an obsession. When you’re trapped in the confines of your cubicle you daydream about your next wave, continually refreshing the surf cam, waiting for the day to end so you can get to the beach, hopefully before the swell drops or the wind picks up. The experience of surfing is unlike anything else. Some see it as a sport, others as a religion, and for some like myself simply a calling with one simple mission- to be stoked for life. Once you catch the bug you just know in your heart and soul that to live any other way would be completely insane.
The Rush, The Escape and a State of Pure Zen
When I asked a few friends to describe the feeling of riding a wave, the most clever response I heard was “it’s like an orgasm, you spend a lot of time trying to get it. It doesn’t last very long and it feels really good when you catch it.” In case you’re wondering, it really is that good. Free of worry, free of thought, free of anything but you and your wave, your mind goes blank, escaping into a state of pure bliss that you hope never ends. “One last wave and I’m done” are famous last words of any surfer who usually paddles out for 10 more waves. In the zone or in a state of flow is often how the rush that brings us into this zen like state is described.
A Tie That Binds
The pursuit of waves is a tie that binds surfers so tightly we can’t help but wonder what is wrong with anybody who doesn’t share our love for the ocean. With close to nothing in common we find ourselves becoming the best of friends because we know we’ve started a journey that will last a lifetime. From traveling the world to driving on unpaved roads, we’ll do whatever it takes to continue on our quest to be stoked for life. Given the choice between a life made of experiences and one made of possessions, I’ll always chose the second. This is the only way I ever want to live because I’ll be left with footprints on my imagination that go beyond the grave.
Srinivas Rao is the author of the personal development blog, The Skool of Life, where he writes about all things you should have learned in school but never did. He currently resides in Tamarindo and his schedule is subject to change based on surf conditions.