I married a surfer. I like it. He doesn’t watch a lot of sports (thank God for that) but he loves surfing and follows surfing regularly. It’s his thing. I like that it’s his thing. I like that I can sit on the beach while my man does his thing. It’s a win-win.
Thursday night Geric turned to me and said that he didn’t have any work lined up for Friday and he asked if I would want to take the kids to Huntington Beach to watch Kelly Slater surf in the US Open. I said sure. He said, “Really?” But it was kind of a high pitched, “really?” Like, the kind you would here from a ten year old when you surprise them with a trip to Disneyland. He was a little bit excited. And by “a little bit” I mean a lot.
The drive down Friday morning was filled with nervous yawns and excited shoulder stretches. My man was excited! He has been a fan of Kelly Slater’s since Kelly Slater has been “Kelly Slater.” He knows all of his stats (in fact, he just recited quite a few of them to me) and he can even argue you to the grave that Kelly Slater is the best athlete ever. Ever. No, it’s not Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or even Babe Ruth. He told me. It’s Kelly Slater. He had some valid arguments, too. He won me over. I have to agree.
So, we made the same voyage I had made previously in the week with my sister. This time I made Geric push the pack mule, I mean the stroller, down to the sand. And this time we made our way to a spot amidst tiny bikini clad teenagers who had “Tilly’s” and “Pacsun” painted on their bellies. And, no, they didn’t make me feel ancient. Why would they? I was rockin’ my best one-piece. Boo yah, ladies.
I took a cute picture of Geric and Elijah.
And the beachfront paparazzi.
And this guy… he’s somebody. Geric made me take his picture. The guy in the gray shirt. He’s a surfer. That’s the best I got.
The first heat involved this guy. Tanner something-or-other. He was good. But it was here when I realized that it is extremely difficult to get a good shot of a moving surfer. The guy in the stands with the gray shirt was way easier to photograph.
The next heat was Kelly, and the sun came out just for him. And I have to say, there was a feeling of celebrity in the air when he arrived on the beach. And not the Paris Hilton variety, but the kind where people are really in awe of someone because they have actually accomplished something.
Then he surfed.
And friends, he’s amazing. And I don’t know if you can tell from the rest of this post, but I don’t know much about surfing. But he was amazing! I was suddenly a really big fan. You could tell he loved doing what he does. He was passionate about it, and that’s always something.
And then… and then the dolphins. It was crazy. These dolphins came within 10 feet of the guy and played around and bodysurfed on the waves right next to him. It was like he was one with the ocean. So weird. Geric said that happens a lot. He’ll need a big wave to get a good score and out of nowhere a big wave comes forth out of the ocean… just for him. They say surfing is a spiritual experience…
He did some awesome stuff. Here’s some pictures.
Taj Burrows and Dane Reynolds surfed Kelly’s heat. Sucks to be those guys, right? Not that they aren’t great, because they are. But, come on.
And then, the clincher. Geric took the camera and fought through the crowds to get to the place where Kelly would walk up the beach to the stands. And then this…
Look at how close he is! This is a moment, people. A real moment.
Then we watched a little interview.
And Geric was so happy the rest of the day. Of course he was on cloud nine that he had just seen one of his idols up close and personal, but he was really happy that I enjoyed it. And I realized, we need more of this. We need to enjoy the the things the other one is so passionate about more often. Which is why he is now following my blog. Ha!
But honestly, it’s really easy to become distracted by the day-to-day and kids and work and responsibility, and forget to do the things that we are passionate about, together. It’s easy to take “me time” or even have a date night at a restaurant, but there is something that comes alive when we go beyond just spending time together, and really invest in the things our significant other loves. Gotta do more of it. Really.
Oh, and look who won the event yesterday… of course.