Poipu beach

What I Learned From Body Surfing

By Jimi Smoot

Right now I am sitting on a balcony outside of my hotel room overlooking the beautiful Poipu beach on the south shore of Kauai. The purpose of this trip is for my wife and I to spend some time together before we have our baby in a few months. I also needed to do something to clear my head since Vesper, my sales assistant project, has become an obsession. Unfortunately, obsessions are very demanding and don’t really allow for vacation but more like a change of scenery. Regardless, interactions with different people and observations of things outside of my typical cycle help me see things uniquely. That’s exactly what happened today.

After waking up at 5am and working for a few hours, my wife and I got a cabana on the beach. This is where I spent most of the day reading “Naked Statistics” by Charles Wheelan and catching up on the Tim Ferriss podcast. The surf started to get big and being a bit of an amateur bodysurfer, I got up and jumped in to see what kind of magic would happen.

About 5 minutes in the water and I saw it. A beautiful +5 foot wave rolling my way. The timing looked perfect. My mind flashed with visions of catching the wave just right and riding it as I lined up.

I swam hard but it didn't help. I missed the window to catch the wave by inches then saw the wave break right in front of me. The disappointment set in. Determined to make it right I turned around and waited for another wave.

It came, I kicked, I missed it.

And another. And another.

Each compounded my frustration until I realized something. There is a whole ocean of waves out there. I will eventually end up riding one, its just a matter of timing and, most importantly, patience.

It turns out that spending most of the day sitting at a desk isn’t the best way to stay in shape for bodysurfing so I decided to take a rest and spend some time reflecting over a Martini — I just can’t do the fruity drinks.

Thats when things solidified for me.

There will always be more chances. Sometimes it’s important to forgive myself and just keep kicking.