I have always had a huge love of the water and as a child would never be out of it. However, following a bit of a wipe out when body boarding in Manly about 4 years ago I started to realise how unpredictable it is and was scared of the ocean. Not growing up by the ocean I had no idea how to read it. I am a strong swimmer but had no idea of rips, how to duck under waves or get past a break I developed a big fear of getting in.
As you do when you get older, the more I thought about it the more the fear developed and before I knew it, waves scared the hell out of me. However, my love for the water and living next to the beach made me determined to overcome it.
For my birthday, two of my close friends knew about my determination to learn more about the ocean and bought me a surf lesson with Claudia. That was where it changed! Claudia was the most patient teacher I have ever had.
Our first lesson was perfect. Rather than focusing on surfing and standing up we focused on learning to love the ocean and finding it fun again. She told me to look at how beautiful for the waves were and to duck under a few looking at the bubbles. We then body surfed a few.. This was actually fun again and there was no pressure on achieving anything. We then took in the lovely board, Lemon. Giving a board a name, seems to make it so much more friendly! Again, there was no pressure. The goal was simply to have fun and feel the ocean. When I was starting to feel a little more confident we tried standing up and I did it !!!
The thing that I loved from Claudia’s lessons were her patience, calm, chilled out spirit and positivity. All too often we focus too much on the end goal.. She taught me just to have fun rather than get stressed out about it. If I didn’t feel comfortable, to not do it. I think this was the main game changer in me starting out to learn how to surf.
I now feel proud of what I have achieved.I have bought my own surf board and try to go out three times a week. I have also just spent the last two weekends on ‘ surf retreats’ ! Confidence well and truly back. I always like to use what Claudia taught me and rather than going rushing into the ocean determined to stand up or go out the back to chill out a little and just feel the ocean and enjoy. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher and would highly recommend her to anyone wanting to give surfing a go and overcoming their fears in the water!