Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The Sporting Life
Here it is, the long promised surf video, shot and edited by the talented Carl. I have improved further since we shot this footage, but I love how this video captures me just on the cusp of standing up. My first shaky steps. I also like how it shows me wiping out, getting tossed off the board, and almost colliding with both cool, experienced surfers and young children. That's what surfing was like for me right up until August of this year, when finally I figured out how to stand up and stay up on the board.
"Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe
This is one of my favorite quotes. Not just because I think it's true, but because it's so optimistic, so encouraging. I had always wanted to surf, and in spite of being out of shape, and not a great swimmer, and quasi-afraid of the ocean, I dared to try. And I succeeded! This ranks up there with some of my proudest accomplishments, along with learning how to speak Spanish, passing the bar exam, and writing a novel.
Rediscovering and reclaiming my inner athlete has been one of the best gifts of the past year. I unearthed her, first for surfing, because it was an itch I had to scratch, and then for swimming to help the surfing, and then for tennis, to help research the novel. Along the way I remembered that sports were a huge part of my life until I was fifteen, when I decided I was an intellectual and not an athlete. I'm glad that I've finally realized I can be both. Why choose?
Finally, I can't let the week pass without shouting out my Fighting Phils! October baseball two years running in Philadelphia--I'm not sure this is my city anymore. My awesome parents took me to game two of the playoffs last night, where we handed Milwaukee a second defeat with an incredible grand slam from Shane Victorino. I've never been part of an event where such passion was displayed--by the crowd. The cumulation of 28 years of hope for the Phils was fully present last night as we screamed, shouted, taunted, cheered, and yes, booed. One thing I love about sports is watching people dig deep into their talent and determination to perform under great pressure. I love watching people rise to an occasion. Our Phillies did that last night, and I got to share in the love with my parents and 46,000 other rabid fans. What a joy, what a blessing.