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Enjoying the Ride
Photo: Dan Miles
As the dark green UPS truck rolled into our drive that balmy June day, my mind snapped a photo that remains etched in my memory 40 years later. Perhaps it was because that day a teenager’s dream became reality.

After saving my after school wages for months at $1.00 per hour, I was now the proud owner of a brand new seven- foot surfboard!

You see, I lived and breathed surfing – movies, magazines and music. No matter that I resided in California’s Central Valley 200 miles from the nearest beach. No matter that I’d never been on a surfboard in my life. My dream was to own my own board, catch towering waves and ride them long and lingering to the water’s edge, savoring every thrilling moment.

My opportunity came that summer when our family made our annual trek to the coast. Dad dutifully roped my board to the top of our flesh colored ’59 Ford and off we went! 

Arriving at Santa Cruz beach, I found out how anemic I really was when I could barely drag the board through the sand behind me, let alone carry it. Once in the water my attempts at catching waves were pathetic at best. My dream fizzled but it didn’t peg out. The hope of that long leisurely ride still occupies a special corner of my heart.

Last summer I happened upon a surfing competition at Leo Carrillo State Beach in Southern California. The old spark ignited and I dug my heals into the sand with eager anticipation.

Can you imagine my astonishment as I watched surfers massacring waves? It would not have been any more brutal had they been thrashing their way through the Amazon with machetes. Back and forth they cut across the breakers with frenetic speed making mince meat out of swells. “Where’s the enjoyment in this.” I wondered.

Need to slow down?

Last week I received a snappy advertisement in the mail. “We’ll get you surfing up to five times faster!” The colorful Internet brochure promised me.

Help! Aren’t we surfing fast enough already? When are we going to slow down; in the grave?

Not only are we surfing faster; we're driving faster. We’re shopping faster and rushing everywhere we go. Even our meals are prepared in a matter of minutes via microwave oven or fast food restaurant. No need for teeth as we inhale our grub and speed on our way.

The question remains, do we really get more out of life at this frantic clip? Or, do we simply wear ourselves out before our time? Is it possible if we ratchet down the pace a notch or two, we might actually enjoy life more and be healthier.

Today, why not take a deep breath, maybe three or four. Catch a sunset. Watch a child play. Delight in the scenery. Slow down the pace. Savor the moment, enjoying the ride.

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By Kathy A Lewis. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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