Monday, October 10, 2011

An L.A. List Update: Surfing

My 24th year was the year I felt myself age.  Not in an annoying "25 is so old" kind of way (LA hasn't stolen my soul yet).  I'm just saying that turning 25 was the first time I thought about my birthday in terms of aging, rather than just a new age.  Probably because for the first 23 years of my life, I literally was invincible.  I never got sunburned, I never broke a bone, I wasn't allergic to anything, I'd only really been hungover once (after my best friend's 21st birthday...a damn good reason), my ear drum burst on a plane once but it healed up by itself in just a few days, and what was that about not sleeping in your contacts?

But when I turned 24, it was like my body just couldn't keep it all in anymore.*  First, I developed seasonal allergies.  To what, I don't know (because I'm too lazy to go get an allergy test), but it basically means I can't wear contacts for the entire month of September.  Then I became allergic to alcohol.  All of it except for white wine and tequila (mysteriously).  I'm still pretending this does not exist (it's not going so well).  My knees can only take so much on a ski slope nowadays (moguls = death), there's a muscle in the back of my leg that I think is just perpetually pulled, and everything falls apart if I don't take my daily calcium.  To top it off, last summer, I got sunburned and peeled.  It was the end of my youth, I decided.

So learning how to surf seemed far too physical for someone whose young athletic days had ended at the age of 23 (or maybe it was at the age of 16 with the demise of my figure skating career...uh huh, that happened).  I had peaked; there was no reason to rub it in.  But in some delirious moment of confidence, I had put "learn to surf" on the L.A. List, as Brian repeatedly reminded me, and seeing as though I have no excuses as of late (my calendar is conspicuously empty), I gave in.

So we rented a wetsuit and a board and walked to the beach.  Brian explained some stuff about how "surfing is all about speed" (riiiiiight), I awkwardly fake surfed on the sand, and we went in.  I expected a washing-machine wipe-out where salt water painfully shot up my nose and my contacts came out; I was prepared for defeat.  But instead, with some paddling and a push, I was up!  And then I was promptly down.  But for a second, I was up!  And it was awesome!

I got up two more times that day, and I have to admit, I liked it.  It reminded me that my body is stronger, more coordinated, and younger than I give it credit for.  It was proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.  Or maybe it was proof that I'm not an old dog.  Either way, it's good news.  I wouldn't have done it if I hadn't put it on my L.A. List, so here's to making a list and checking it off!

*Granted, 24 was also the year where I had to find a job at the bottom of the recession, and plan a wedding and actually get married, while also trying not to fail out of law school.  Stress could have something to do with all this.

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