My Story – Part 3

For the next couple of days, I want to share my story, my view, and how I can make decisions with commitment.

Yesterday I talked about my first job: working in a coffee shop. I then talked about how much I loved surfing.

Surfing was not about me, I am only an average surfer: it was about the ocean. The vastness of the ocean exposed my insignificance in the literal sense of the world, but there was also an intimate connection. Even as a diminutive speck I felt connected each time a wave rolled by and picked me up.

The experience of riding on a wave has been unequalled by most everything I have experienced since. With each anticipatory paddle into the abyss that is the Pacific Ocean my heart beat faster and faster. The water pulled into a solid liquid wall threatening to crush me with one mistake. And then the moment strikes when everything freezes as I reach the peak of the wave and begin to rush down its face. If I could, I would spend my life in this moment.

Every wave has a certain level of predictability. As they come rolling in from the horizon I learned to spot the large waves in their set. From the way a wave breaks I could predict where the next was to peak. Discerning these nuances were vital in order for me to catch a wave instead of being tossed into the melee of a crashing wave like a sock in a washer, which happened all too often.

In the danger and expanse of my universe, I learned my place. I learned to be humble. Upon my surfboard, a floating speck on the ocean, I began to listen. Unspoken questions of my heart gained a voice and a few answers came. Perhaps the biggest wave of my 17 year-old life, I thought, was what my life was going to look like. I felt like in the ocean of life I had picked my wave and was paddling to catch it. What would I make of this wave? How would I ride it?

A surfer can’t control everything he rides; he can only control how he rides it. Dropping down the face he can carve to the right or left, cut back on the peak or simply take the wave as it comes… the options are limited by only the wave itself.   I viewed my life upon an uncontrollable wave. Picking me up to sweep me into a rush.

Peter Stobaugh
phone: (814) 659-6501

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