Lessons For Surfers: There Is Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself
“There is nothing to fear but fear itself”
Surfing teaches you a lot about life and yourself. One thing most surfers have to conquer every time they get into the water is the fear and uncertainty. I doubt there is any surfer who runs into the ocean thinking that all will be well and good. The possibilities are endless. That you might shred some amazing waves, meet rogue ones, that the tide might fluctuate, that you might go under- the fears it seems, are endless.
All these fears are all valid. However, I want to ease your discomfort or concerns, by telling you that most surfers share a deep instinctive love of the Ocean, but having fears about what lies underneath is not uncommon. We are all afraid of something, and I suppose it doesn’t help if you are a surfer and you are deeply afraid of sharks .
In this article by Brooke Rundle for The Inertia, the writer relays some of the lessons she has learned from surfing. Rundle writes, “ For years I’ve been afraid of bat rays in the water. They swim near the surface with their wing tips resembling the fins of baby sharks. She continues on the demystification of her fears, “I couldn’t believe that all these years surfing i’d been worried about getting stung by what was essentially a goldfish.” After confronting her fears and making sure to see them for what they really are, Rundle realizes that she has made a lot of decisions in her time surfing based on a fear she never really examined.
According to this article by Psychology Today, “the best way to dealing with any fear, rational or irrational is to confront it.” When I surf in the morning, I make sure to realize all my fears before getting into the water. I do this through meditation and prayer, and then I go over verses which give me inspiration to enjoy myself and paddle through my fears in the water.
Surfing is not only physically challenging, it is also emotionally challenging. Everyday when you get into the water you confront yourself. You confront the fear of uncertainty, the vastness of the ocean which you are at mercy to, or the deep seated need to challenge your own record on the board. This can help you grow as a person, because it also serves as a time for self reflection. Surfers are often alone in the water, even in the company of members of their own tribe.
To learn more about the psychology of confronting your fears, visit this post by Psychology today
To learn more about Brooke Bundle confronting her fears as a surfer, visit her article for The Inertia here