Surfing for the First Time in the Pacific Ocean

Hello Fears
Feb 17, 2017 · 3 min read

It was around 4:30pm and my friend/colleague asked if we wanted to go surfing. I initially thought to myself no, and told them I’d probably just go watch.

After a couple minutes went by I literally thought, WHY am I saying no? Then it dawned on me that I WAS AFRAID and FEARFUL.

Full Name: Jacob Martin Ozuna
Age: 27
Gender: Male
City: Seattle

Let me rewind.

A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to listen to Michelle Poler’s talk on fear at my company’s summit in San Diego. She shared with us her 100 Days Without Fear project and the lessons she learned along the way.

If I truly got anything out of listening to her it was that failing to try is the biggest failure of them all and the more uncomfortable we get the greater the reward.

So, I eventually told them

“Actually…..I’m in”

We grabbed our surfboards, rented wetsuits, and walked to the ocean. Two-Three foot waves are called ‘anklebiters’ to regular surfers in San Diego. Two-Three foot waves are called ‘life enders’ in Seattle, where I live.

I took one step into the ocean, heart beating wondering if this is something I truly wanted to do. Right then over the loudspeaker the lifeguard said,

“It’s 5:00 o’clock and we need everyone out of the water. The tide is getting too strong, it’s now dark and suggest that everyone comes back in for the night. Surfing will resume at 9 am tomorrow.”

Welp….. maybe I didn’t need to make the decision myself, and was completely relieved that the LIFEGUARDS, who patrol these waters year around to make sure people’s lives stay out of harm, had told us we couldn’t go in.

To my relief, I knew we didn’t have a choice anymore.

Until one of the two guys I was surfing with said, ‘Hell no, we’re still going in!’. I’m thinking,

there are sharks, it’s getting dark, the current is too strong, I’ve never done this before, how will I look in front of everyone, the lifeguards told us not to go in!

At that moment, I said ‘f’it’ and walked out into the ocean with my teammates and surfed until we couldn’t surf any longer.

The feeling of being in the water, battling each and every wave that rolled in was truly unbelievable. The gorgeous sunset turned quickly into a moon light evening of surfing.

I never fully got up on the board, but dammit it might have been the coolest experience of my life.

After, I had joy, happiness and found myself close with two friends and workmates. It was an experience I will never forget.

If it wasn’t for Michelle sharing what she did, I would have taken the easy way out. It was one of the most exhilarating times in my life, solely because I decided to not let fear and the unknown get in the way.

I’m the guy with the tongue out in the far right :P

There will never be a time where I visit San Diego and DO NOT surf. We are now planning a surfing trip to the frigid coast of Washington called La Push.

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Hello Fears

From the creator of 100 Days Without Fear. Hello Fears’ mission is to inspire the world through stories of courage from everyday people. Submit your story here:

Hello Fears

Written by

Hey there! It’s Michelle Poler, The Fear Girl, writing on behalf of a community of non-conformists who face their fears to find meaning and inspire others.

Hello Fears

From the creator of 100 Days Without Fear. Hello Fears’ mission is to inspire the world through stories of courage from everyday people. Submit your story here:

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