What Surfing Can Teach You About Stress
Gerry Lopez was widely known as the best tube rider in the world and won multiple championships during his time as a pro. Lopez played a vital role in the industry of commercial surfboard manufacturing. While in Hawaii, and together with other surfboard shapers, Lopez started the Lightning Bolt Surfboards brand of high-performance shortboards that became one of the first brands to sponsor riders with free boards.
While Gerry is revered as a legend in the surfing community, he never dreamed of achieving legend status or fame. To him, surfing had nothing to do with any of that.
Gerry believed surfing was a metaphor for life. He thought that learning how to surf the vastness of the ocean was a way to deal with the rolling changes of life and the ongoing societal pressure we tend to feel day to day.
For Gerry, surfing brought on a wave of calmness and being present. There was nothing that Gerry worried about in the waves. It was being in the moment, ceasing the idea that nothing mattered more than where he was at the time.
I write about Gerry Lopez because I’ve been reading a lot about the amount of anxiety and stress our society currently endures from external pressure to be successful.
I came across this quote from him.
"You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf."
At times, the ocean of life can be unsteady and extremely volatile but practicing the art of surfing when it comes to stress will give us freedom. We don’t have to feel as if we are pressured to be something of significance.
We can just glide on top of the waves. We have to remind ourselves that we must adapt to the ocean and adjust accordingly to its nature, not the other way around.
To practice surfing on top of the waves of stress, think of moments in your life where you felt overwhelmed.
How did you react?
Was it worth being in that state of mind?
What could you do differently to surf better?
Whatever you find, pay attention to what you answer and make yourself a better surfer.
Otherwise, the ocean will eat you alive.
They tend to do that too.