Addicted and not looking back

Hooked on a high bigger than any other … surfing

By Ryan Brower

“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.” — Jack Kerouac

Not being able to control a strong desire certainly makes that desire a passion. If you feel so deeply for something that you cannot function unless that something is a part of your life, then it is a passion. You need it, you can’t live without it, it’s all you think about, and you must have it.

My fault, my failure, is not in my passion for surfing, but rather my inability to control it.

A lot of surfers out there feel like this, and you can tell who those guys are. We cannot control ourselves. We have been hooked since that first wave. As it’s been said before, surfing is similar to a drug, and if you’re addicted, you can’t live without it. Just like everyone has their own “fixes” in life, we need our surfing fix, and if we don’t get it you might not want to be around us.

When there are no waves, like we’ve been experiencing the last few weeks, we go through withdrawal: mood swings, depression, boredom, lack of motivation and everything else associated. It is so frustrating when skating just won’t suppress that craving for a “fix” anymore, and you feel like there’ll never be waves again.

There aren’t any words I can use to explain the feeling someone gets from surfing. And if you’re hooked, you can’t help but think about the next time you’ll get into the water. You just want to experience that feeling again, over and over, because it is so pure and wonderful. But our “addiction” should certainly not be looked upon negatively, and having a passion certainly isn’t a fault.

OK, so maybe we take a day or two off here or there if a swell pops up. And if there are waves, I guess it is all we think about. And even when there aren’t waves it’s still all we think about. But it’s all in the name of passion.

Surfing provides so many wonderful things that a lot of people don’t realize: friendships, supplying a way to be in tune with nature, a great workout, time to reflect in the water, peacefulness, and most importantly, fun.

So don’t for one second think that surfers are just lazy bums who have no work ethic; know that they have a passion in their lives, something that fulfills them and puts them at one with the world. Find your passion, like we have, because it will be what drives you, what gives your life meaning, what makes you a total person. Don’t just settle for the way things are now: taking some crummy job, or living somewhere that you hate.

If you’re unhappy, only you can change it. Go out there and find your passion, and give your life a purpose. Because if we don’t have a purpose, then why are we here?

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