Florida's Winter Sport
My Former Neighbor
Still Going Strong
In Florida, there is not enough snow to ski or snowboard, so we have to surf. It may not sound like a winter sport, but the biggest and best waves are in the winter months. I know that some of you may be thinking that there is no winter in Florida, but in my world, 60 degrees and under is winter. The water is icy and we always hope the sharks are asleep. How many other sports have creatures with big teeth wanting to eat you? It gives an added challenge to even the best surfers.
In my adolescence, not too many years ago, we would leave the house before the sun rose to get to the beach, unless it was a school day. In that case, we had to leave as if we were actually going to school. We even had a particular women’s dean that would go to the beach looking for us, so it was a good thing that she didn’t know how to surf. We could see her better than she could see us, so all she could do was speculate. Ahh, the good old days! We usually went to the beach behind a condo that was called “Marco Villas” because the ocean floor was firm and sandy with very few rocks. There we would surf and swim all day, wearing wetsuits, of course. There were a few occasions when we camped out on the beach all night and woke to watch the sun rise. I don't think I will ever be that free again.
Surfing the ocean's waves is not only good exercise, it also helps develop coordination and balance. Although I don’t surf anymore, I still have great balance and coordination. I do boogie board and body surf in the warmer weather. Most of friends were surfers and some have even surfed in competitions. I have always felt at home in the water and there is no feeling like feeling the power of the wave underneath you as you ride to shore. Sharing this with my son made it even better. I still like to attend the surfing competitions that Ron Jon’s sponsors and watch the talented young riders. We even get a concert from the Beach Boys once a year. My fondest memories come from those times in the water with my friends. If you ever travel to Florida, i would recommend that you try surfing before you leave. Just remember, if someone yells "shark!", head for shore.