The pleasure of being dirty – Loose notes about life & surfing vol. III

Summer is around. Attending to what the world lived so far in 2020, we need a break more than ever. We definitely can’t wait for that surf trip along the coast to check the best surf spots in Portugal, or the yoga retreat, the promised road trip, or the scheduled family surf vacations or even the romantic agenda with your soulmate. Whatever.

Funny thing is that most of us probably never had so many doubts, question marks or hesitations like nowadays. Well… maybe sometimes the answer just hits you all the sudden and comes in the most curious ways.

It happened to everybody that a smell, landscape, conversation or any other situation triggered a special memory that was buried in a hidden corner of your brain.  Like a million other surfers, I love surfing and I try to do it as much as I can. Period. Obviously (dare to write it ‘cause I’m sure these million people do the same), it happens often that I rush between the ocean and my daily responsibilities and by the end of the day, whenever I stop, I fall asleep faster than I would like to (always go for a bed time story to my son but, according to his words, seems that after a while they stop making any sense!). 

Lately, these kinds of busy days have succeeded and, a few days ago, it happened! I scratched my back and felt a weird but familiar sensation. At first, I thought a mosquito or something similar bit me. No, it didn’t happen. Maybe something wrong with the t-shirt? No. But the feeling was somehow familiar. Then I found myself thinking ”when was the last time I shower?”. Instantly, just of thinking about it,  the answer came: salty water! The result of accumulated surf sessions and rushing between different tasks, with no time for a proper shower.  Don’t get me wrong now- I do shower  🙂

Those salty memories tasted like long surfing sessions during Summer when I spent hours in the water with a few of my best mates. We felt invincible like super-heroes! Like the world stopped and that was all it matters. 

By then, I often extended that peace of mind to reality and took a piece of the ocean back home. Besides the salty water, I remember other signs of freedom that I used to carry all over: the sand on my body that often resulted on “How come is this much sand on the sofa?” by my mom; the thick bottom layer on my feet as a result of walking all time barefoot or the tanned line of my neck from hours and hours in the wetsuit.

All these dots together pictured some bright memories when surfing days seemed to last for ages. Currently the time is shorter and duties have increased.  I surf wearing a watch and most of the times without my best friends (tons of familiar faces though). Don’t feel invincible but sometimes stiff and rusty, my feet are softer and I shower properly (!).

If I’m willing to become an anarchist and deny my personal or professional responsibilities? Hell no. Do I like the life I have? Love it. The tan line on my neck is there and for sure the surfing passion has never chilled. Maybe sometimes just forgotten.

Maybe scratching was just a reminder that when we do what we love there’s no reason to complain but to be grateful! And perhaps now, more than ever, we all need to really value what used to thrill us and that we, somehow along the way, started to take as granted. 

Summer is around. Covid too. Fu*# it! Don’t cry or regret! Be smart. Protect yourself. Protect others. Go surf. 

Watermark Surf House