Monday, November 16, 2009
You're never too old to boogie board
My friends Mike and Shannon recently relocated to Manly and invited us all to warm their new digs with a brunch party last weekend. The festivities were initially scheduled for the prior weekend, but were rescheduled because of the weather forecast: rain with a chance of bleh. I didn't understand the need for a sunny day; we were coming to see their home, we didn't need the beach! Oh, how wrong I was.
The weather Saturday was warm and perfect for brunch followed by an afternoon at Manly beach. Mike and Shan are, among our friends, the best, most ambitious and most prolific cooks in Sydney and thus it came as no surprise when they treated us to fresh mango smoothies, breakfast tacos with homemade pico de gallo, delightfully spiced coffee cake and juicy watermelon. After waiting the requisite 30 minutes, we threw on our suits and wandered en masse down to the beach (only 7 minutes from their house, those lucky dogs!)
Saturday was one of the first beach days of the season so the beach was understandably crowded. We found dozens of kids in what appeared to be a junior surf life saving club in addition to the usual crowd of sun-loving (but fearing) Aussies on Manly beach that day. Protectively clad in rash-guards, wetsuits and gobs of sunscreen, the kids had an absolute blast paddling their surf boards out to sea, legs kicking in unison and then riding the waves back to shore.
When I saw a six year old girl surf right past me on a gentle wave, I knew I had to grab one of the boogie boards that Mike and Shan had loaned us for the day. I recruited Jess and the two of us retaught ourselves how to catch the waves on a boogie board. After a half an hour of a ridiculous amount of fun, we passed the boards off to other members of our crew so that they could give the boards a go. However, I reclaimed the board twice when one of them wasn't being used.
The tide was very low and I rode the waves practically all the way to the sand. I have yet to learn how to gracefully roll off the board when I've beached myself on the sand and return to a standing position while holding the board. Basically, I looked silly and awkward, but the thrill of being pushed along on top of a wave was worth it. That sudden burst of speed as the wave surges forward is a feeling I hope to never forget. But if I do, I can remake the memory because, fortunately, you're never too old to boogie board.