A while ago I taught a stranger to surf. (In the land of the blind, the one -eyed rookie truly is king).
He stood up on his first time out. Not bad going for a two hour stint with small-ish messy waves.
At the end, he said “I’m really glad I did this. Normally I’m a “no” person.”
I asked what he meant, and he explained that as a general rule, he said no to trying new things, figuring, I suppose, that as an adult, you would have developed a fairly good idea of what you liked and did not.
But it isn’t so. How can you possibly have tried even a fraction of the incredible experiences the world has to offer?
As Uncle Monty asks Marwood in Withnail & I,
are you a sponge or a stone?
At an ungodly hour this morning I was wrenched from sleep by the piercing wail of my my alarm. I had a five minute battle with myself about whether I should crawl back beneath the sheets. It was a pretty one sided battle; my bed is extremely comfortable and I love sleep above most things, while plunging into chilly waters to swim laps is very low down on the list.
Just as I was preparing for another two hours’ kip, the thought occurred to me that I was being a “no person”. It stung me into action.
So I trotted off to Icebergs to do squad training, and had the joyous experience of watching the sunrise over Ben Buckler through the spray of the surf breaking around me. It looked a little like this:
Pretty glad I got out of bed.
(This photograph was taken by the talented Uge at Aquabumps. If you don’t already know his work, you must check it out – the site is good, but the shop is better. The aluminium backed prints are really luminous.)