Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Keeping the dream alive

Keeping the dream alive – the lunch hour surf

I check the time as I swing out of my chair, its 12:18 and lunch hour the clock starts. I walk briskly down the corridor towards the beckoning exit sign, I’m trying not to look like I’m rushing. I don’t want to raise suspicion.

The cool easterly hits me as I escape out of the backdoor into the carpark, its definitely picked up since this morning, but still looks almost offshore, I stay positive.

Past the city green and I’m out of eyeshot of the office, I start to jog.

12:22, I reach the backdoor. My wife has taken the boys out to lunch at a friend’s place, and I struggle with the stubborn lock on the back door before racing inside to get changed. I contemplate pulling on my wetsuit, the water is getting cold its probably about 15-16 degrees maybe, but a wetsuit will steal precious minutes or potential surf time. I tell myself to suck it up and I don the boardies and thongs.

12:24, I struggle to ride my bike through the narrow side gate with my board under my arm. Its my latest wooden mini simmons, its not glassed, and almost completely solid, its not light and I’m barely managing to balance on the bike with the 8kgs of wood under one arm.  

12:26, I’m on my way cruising down the shared footpath dodging an elderly couple walking their little dog, I’m hoping that there are no chance encounters with anyone from work on the way.

12:32, I pull up at the beach, the surf club is the closest access and the wind is straight cross shore. The swell is solid, about a foot overhead on the sets, there are some good peaks, but its choppy. Normally I’d keep looking but after the craziest morning at work, and only 46 minutes left of my lunch hour I head straight out. I lock up the bike and I’m running through the shallows by 12:34.

12:58, I check my watch and this wave will have to be last. It shaping up to be a good left, I drop down a lumpy 7ft face, the sharp rails and momentum of the timber board cut through the water like a knife. Easing into a long bottom turn, I then set a high line racing under the lip as the wave starts to peel. All of a sudden I’m way out on the shoulder, burying my trailing hand in the wave I rip this freight train of a surfboard back toward the pocket. I bounce off the foam and by dragging one arm in the wave I lock into the little pocket. I make a quick shuffle down the board and attempt to hang five, I hold it for a second too long and the nose begins to dive. I dive off the back into waist deep water only meters from the beach. Adrenaline pumping, water up my nose and sand in my hair, the craving is sedated for now.

1:07, I know I’m out of shape and I’m stuffed after riding up the hill, my back tyre is really flat and I feel the rim bounce over every bump in the path. Pushing hard for last few hundred meters I make it home by 1:09.

1:12, I’m still tucking in my shirt as I lock the back door heading back to work. I finger comb my damp and possibly still sandy hair as I hurry down the street back towards the office.

1:15, I bite into my apple that I grabbed on the way out of the house as I swipe my card and walk back through the back door.

1:16 I’m consciously trying to keep my breathing normal as I sit back down at my desk, no one has said anything and no out of the ordinary weird looks. I’ve done it! I can’t help the silly grin that spreads across my face. Only my second lunch hour surf for the year and its saved me from the brink of the 8 to 5 oblivion. The dream lives on.

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