Staying Calm

Surfing - walking the leashI’m practicing two sports that seem very different but have something in common. Surfing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) each require being comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

BJJ is really just wrestling while trying to submit your opponent and also avoiding being submitted. The person on top is usually keeping as much weight as possible on the bottom person. Lots of uncomfortable situations arise.

But surfing? Yep, now you’re often being held down by tons of turbulent ocean water. Sometimes the feeling is more “Jaws” than “Charlie the tuna.” Surfing looks graceful on the surface of a wave but sometimes beneath the surface there’s fierce beat down taking place.

Our first instinct when being held down is to struggle mightily against whatever is crushing us. But as it turns out, staying calm, even playful,  and you’ll get out of the situation more easily and probably quicker too. It’s a tough lesson to learn, but once you get it your life gets easier.