It was a big day at Redondo Beach, which is rare. The waves were breaking hard and fast on the south side of the jetty, while smaller and a little more predictable on the north side. I paddled out south along with about ten other guys who were already out, or filtering in. You could catch rights or lefts here, depending on how close you were to the jetty. But it was a steep drop no matter what, and so I hung out in places where it looked like I could get a good corner.
Wipeouts abounded before I caught an amazing left. Big, long drop. I was flying - one of my fastest waves ever. My body was wound up perfectly to travel up the wave and do a big snap at the crest. Not that I'm great at doing snaps, but I've been learning. Unfortunately, on that day though, I enjoyed the drop and the speed so much that I didn't want to waste my ride on what would have likely been a failed snap. And so I absorbed the drop, tried to keep as much speed as I could, and rode it out. Unfortunately, this killed all my momentum and the wave caught up to me lickety split. Before I knew it, the wave was over.
So...it may be a little obvious what I learned that day -- no risk, no reward. I took the safe route in riding and it ended up being lame. I've replayed that wave in my mind a few times since then, and every time I would have tried to do the snap. It may have failed. I might have even gotten hurt. But the attempt would have been well worth it. Hindsight is 20/20 I guess...and a sick maneuver.
And so, as you navigate your own waves - or your life - don't be afraid to take the risk on a big drop. Keep that momentum going and go for the maneuver. Ask your boss for the raise. Get married. Move to another city. Sell everything and start a Christmas tree farm. Whatever it is you're contemplating, now just may be the time to act.
I love letting our two year-old pray, because it's mostly a bunch of jumbled words that don't make any sense, with an occasional "real" word; usually a family member, friend or Daniel Tiger. Tonight she was praying and it really sounded like she was saying, "Thank you God for when we go big." A girl after my own heart...
Go big or go home, as the saying goes. Or maybe, sometimes going big may just lead you home.