When I began seriously windsurfing, I began to keep a journal, notes in a little spiral bound notebook. It was quite helpful. I logged my sessions and noted sail trim settings - downhaul, outhaul, etc.
I ran across it the other day when cleaning out the garage and ran across this entry:
That was twenty three years ago. I'd had a good day windsurfing and then got in the car and turned on the radio.
I would have written that differently had I known that it would be posted for public consumption. Nirvana was a big deal as we transitioned from the synth New Wave and hair metal of the 80s to the grunge of the 90s and Kurt Cobain was, arguably, its biggest voice.
As is typical for me, the self-discipline petered out after a few more entries. That's probably for the best as a few of the other entries were horribly arrogant for a newbie. I'm not very good now, two decades later, so to read my self-assessment then is a bit cringey. Ah, the folly of youth.
Oh, and Amy is one my wife's good friends from med school. Just in case anybody was thinking, "What?"
Janitor's Note: We admit that this is a thinly-veiled attempt to get you, our club members, readers and visitors to share your story in the comments below. But to get things rolling, we'll go first.
When we started windsurfing, our lives changed. Some of those changes were subtle. Who among us can ever drive across a bridge over a lake and not look to see if there are white caps? Others, more substantial, the way we spend our spare time and money, where we go on vacation, and even how and when we work.
But sometimes, windsurfing changes us. Not what we do, but, who we are.
My change was about five years ago. I'd windsurfed for years by then, of course. But, I'd entered that part of middle age where family demands overshadow personal hobbies and activities. My kids were busy and I spent a lot of time with them, driving them, watching their sports. None of this I regret in the least. But, slowly, I was morphing from a butterfly into a caterpillar.
My future without windsurfing. No disrespect to the dude in the photo, I feel ya, buddy.
I'd always been reasonably fit between windsurfing and my other hobby, cycling. In my younger days, it was not uncommon to ride between 150-200 miles per week. Over the years, though, my fitness declined and my wet suit became a bit more snug. Visibly, it didn't show too much so it was easy to ignore the changes.
That year at spring break, my father-in-law was kind enough to take my kids and several cousins to see the Mouse in Orlando. As any good Georgia windsurfer knows, Cocoa Beach is a 45 minute drive from the Mouse. The plan was to crash with them and while the kids were running around waiting in line at the Mouse, I'd motor over to Cocoa and get my jollies in at Kelly Park (technically, on Merritt Island).
Not only was it a good plan but the weather looked promising: 70 degrees and several days of East at 15-20. The first day down, that's exactly what I found. I was able to rig a 5.7 on a 100 liter board and go out in a shorty.
And, like any time you go out when it's been a while, as soon as the board is on top of the water you remember why you love this sport so much.
But the plan had one big flaw: I was out of shape. Really badly out of shape. So much so, that in an hour I was toast, done, cooked, finished, kaput, gassed, had my ticket punched and pretty much exhausted. I was no longer the guy who could sail six hours a day in Rodanthe or all afternoon at Van Pugh. I was winded, my arms could barely hold the sail and it was a struggle just to get everything back on the beach and packed. It was very depressing. I had become that guy I promised I never would be, going a place I'd promised I'd never go- sliding to middle-aged oblivion
I realized that something had to change. I started riding again (those first rides were sobering as well) as well as committing to windsurfing more and just generally being more active. Things have been better since. I struggle in my own way with food at the holidays but I can windsurf and cycle for several hours without need of an oxygen tank.
But that's my story. I'm more interested in hearing yours. Add it to the comments below.
Obligatory Music: David Bowie
Too obvious ...
For those inclined for something from this decade ... ahem, century.