Date Like A Surfer
By David Wygant

I recently spent a week in Hawaii, and while I was there I learned how to surf for the very first time. Now I’ve got to tell you that Wygant on water, ice or snow tends to be comical and is a sight to see. If you’ve ever seen me tumble down a mountain or sporting ice skates or roller blades, then you know why.

So when I got to Hawaii and Alison suggested that we go surfing, my first thought was “no way,” but I told her “Sure, whatever, I’ll go with you” because I am a trooper . . . and because my ego wouldn’t allow me not to go. So when we get there, I don’t expect be able to get up at all. Now, I’ve normally never had trouble ‘getting it up’ in life, but in this situation I did not expect to get up.

Our surfing instructor, Ron, was a really cool guy and he began to explain everything. I’ll provide a link to his website for any of you who make it to Hawaii one day. As Ron was talking to us, I was in another world thinking “There’s no way I am going to be able to get up on that surfboard. It’s not going to happen.”

Not only that, but I had to overcome my fear of Bruce, the electronic shark in Jaws . . . and weren’t these the same waters where that 14 year-old surfer girl recently had her arm bitten off by a shark? Look, I’ve had a fear of sharks ever since I saw the movie Jaws. I was 13 years-old when Jaws came out, and that was just one of those growing up movies that impact you a lot.

Meanwhile, Ron continued on the sand to teach us how to surf. He showed us how to get up. He showed us how to get down. He taught us everything we needed to know to go out there in the water and do it.

So I got on my board in the water and was going through waves thinking “Damn, man, I am not going to be able to do this. I’m going to get my ass kicked in surfing.” Then something interesting happened.

I get on a wave, stand on one knee, put one leg up, and all of a sudden I think to myself “I am going to get up on this board!” Then I rode it in just like that. A couple of rides later, I stood up and I took the entire wave from start to finish.

It felt amazing to be able to see the mountains that were all around, to be able to see the beautiful Hawaiian sky, to be able to smell the water, and to be able to see the crystal clear water all around me. I was addicted at that moment.

What does this story of my first surfing adventure have to do with dating – or with why you should date like a surfer? Well, surfing is a lot like dating.

In surfing as in dating, there are a lot of ups and there are a lot of downs. There are some times you catch that perfect wave as your board starts inching into the water, then the next thing you know you’re tumbling all over the place having no idea when you’re going to be able to get back up again or how you’re going to feel.

Surfing is just like dating because every time you get your ass kicked by a wave and tumble in the water, you have got to get right back up on that board and try again. You have got to do that in surfing, because you never know when that next wave is going to come that is going to take you all the way into the shore and make you feel victorious.

You have got to do this in dating, because you never know when the next person you run into in the supermarket or the coffee shop is going to be that person with whom you create magic. It’s amazing that dating (and life) are just like surfing.

I surfed for four days while I was in Hawaii. I had a great time. I went out there and kept trying. On some days I was able to get up more than I wiped out. On some days I was able to surf better than I was on others.

On my very last ride of the trip, I jumped off the board in a weird way and jammed by back. It was as I hobbled my way back onto the plane that I realized that surfing and dating are no different.

In surfing there will be some days you’re going to ride the wave and feel great, while on other days you won’t. In dating there will be some days you’re going to meet some great people and think great things about a possible connection with someone, while on other days you’re going to realize things aren’t going to work out with someone and that you have to start all over again.

What you need to realize is that every day and every wave give you a chance to start anew. When you get on a surfboard, you never think about the previous wave or your last wipeout. All you think about is getting up on that board on THIS wave. You take in the beautiful Hawaiian mountains or focus on the waterfall in the mountains above you. Then all you do is look straight ahead, crouch down, get on that board and ride that wave into shore.

You need to have that same mindset about every date you go on and about every relationship you have. You should never thing about past dates. Don’t think about past disappointments. Treat each date as you would treat a new wave. Every wave is different and gives you an opportunity to start anew. Similarly, everyone you date is different, and you can start anew every single day. That is really amazing when you think about it.

To Ron, I want to say thanks for a wonderful time surfing in Hawaii. You were a great instructor!

For those of you that want to see my surfing skills……enjoy.