Endless Session. Day 339: Floating
by Morgan Sliff
In the morning, I feel pretty good. Not like I can lift my right arm over my head or paddle “good”, just not in an immense amount of pain “good”. By sometime in the late afternoon I crash, and it feels like a 20 lb weight is pulling on all sides of my collarbone, shoulder, and back. This morning though, was not good. This morning I woke up feeling like that.
Brendan was leaving his Torrance Beach home break and was heading my way, and I almost had to cancel on him, thinking of stalling the day for an afternoon sesh. Laying back down sounded great, but no matter what position — on my back, sitting up, or supported by a million pillows — it was all shitty. So he pulled up, and I figured I’d rather feel shitty in the ocean than feel shitty laying in a dark room drowning out pain with Netflix.
We departed land and he helped me through the sets, and as he paddled next to me I eventually made it out. Kris Hall was dancing about, hanging heels and toe over the nose of his Flower Surfboards longboard (handshaped by him), and I was just happy to have made the grueling quest to the lineup.
The ocean has many functions besides being a playground and a oxygen producing wonderland. It’s a memory suppressant — causing you to forget your troubles left on land. It has the calming effects of yoga — relaxing you and letting you melt into the ocean, rather than give thought to the million things you have to take care of along the day. And importantly for my current situation, it has this morphine-like quality to it that dulls aches and pains.
As I sat and bobbed, I reveled in the comfort it was bringing me, but knew I couldn’t make it last long. I had to get back, and I had to make sure I didn’t make things worse. So I took a few more breaths, and Brendan helped push me into one of the better looking waves of the day, and I carved, sailed, and nose-rode my way towards shore.
And I can guarantee you that in that moment I was grinning ear to ear, absent from my body, my shoulder, and totally, completely, floating.