The title of this post has a double meaning.
The first meaning is physical rehab — which I’ll share in a moment…
And the second meaning is an attitude rehab!
Let me start with that first.
I’ll admit it — I used to be a surf snob.
Luckily I’ve recovered from that unseemly surf snob attitude — in part because of my physical rehab.
What I mean by surf snob is this:
I use to only surf short boards. I though long boards were for “old guys”, boogie boards were for spongers, andI thought SUP surfers weren’t really surfers at all.
As I say, that was in the old days.
Now that I’m older, more mature and more understanding, I’ve ditched my surf snob ways.
Now you might find me at any given beach break NOT on a short board — but on a sponge (yes, boogie boarding is thrilling!), body surfing and just plain swimming.
In fact, I want to be on, in or near the ocean in any (and many) ways possible.
The life-altering event I experienced last year of suddenly losing my vision in my left eye really gave me a new way of seeing the world — including a new way of looking at my surfing.
Not only did I have to stay out of the water for several months as I was recuperating from surgery to repair a complete retinal detachment (that fortunately restored my vision — not perfectly, but it’s better than no vision at all) — but I had to not exercise at all!
Can you imagine not exercising at all for several weeks?
If you’re like me, the ocean is your oxygen.
When I can't get in the water due to illness or injury, I feel like a plant shriveling away...
and I don't feel like me.
Can you relate?
These last few months have been challenging for me -- but I did figure out a way to endure and bounce back.
Here are the things I did during my rehab:
First, I reduced my calorie intake to match my reduced physical activity. Interestingly, I ended up losing weight during my recovery. I rack that up to my body burning so many calories during the healing process.
Second, I followed the doctor’s orders to a “T”. I had to remain in bed 24 hours a day for a few weeks, only able to get up 10 minutes out of each hour. And, I had to stay on my left side so my eye would heal correctly. I put into use all of my yoga training of mindfulness and patience and visualizing myself healing.
The third thing I did was really rest. Even when I was released from bed rest, I took it easy. Yes, I wanted to hit the ground running and dive back into the water, but I knew I had been out of commission for a while so I eased back into things.
I used my positive mental outlook to choose thoughts and feelings that would support my healing. Instead of wallowing in “Why Me?” I focused on “What’s Next?” in terms of getting better. If you want to see what I mean, take a look at the videos I have for my #PMO (Positive Mental Outlook) series on my person website here.
Once I got the all-clear to start exercising, I hopped into the pool first, to start gently swimming and water fitness exercises. I continued to keep my eyes protected with goggles and sunglasses, and I still do now. Exposure to UV light is the biggest risk factor in developing eye conditions, so I’m very careful these days.
Finally, and to take this story full circle, I’m back in the ocean — but enjoying new aspects of riding the waves!
I’m still healing, so the surf board is off limits for me at the moment.
But that does not deter this former surf snob from body surfing, ocean swimming, or — as you can see in the picture here, taken about a month ago, along with a fun-loving friend, about to boogie board the waves!
You can see the joy on our faces from the sheer gift of being alive, enjoying the fresh sea air, the gorgeous waves, and basking in the the beauty of God’s creation.
What about you? Let me know how you are riding the waves (of life) these days…
with warm well wishes for more waves of joy yet to come~
More Surf Yoga Tips below…
Avid surfer and certified yoga instructor Peggy Hall has been inspiring thousands of surfers to surf better — and live better — since 2002. Her upbeat energy, down-to-earth teaching style and positive encouragement will get you fit, focused and fearless on the waves, and in your life!
Did you get your FREE Pre-Surf Warm-up yet? This 10-minute sequence comes from YOGA for SURFERS 1 and will get you energized and focused before paddling out. Get started today and start feeling better fast!