My toes were tingling. My feet were numb. The further outwards I drifted, the colder it got. But I couldn’t stop now. I laid my body flat along the board, stomach and toes pointing down, and swam forward as the grumble behind me got louder and louder. Instantly I was thrown forwards. I no longer swam at this point, now I was fighting to just stay afloat. I cupped the sides of the board and positioned myself to do a push-up, and threw my legs forward to kneel on one knee. The board rocked under the shifting of my weight and my speed hadn’t decreased at all. Still, I made the unexpected decision not to panic. That was, of course, step one and I had done it much better than I expected. As I warred and clashed against the unrelenting crystal sea and the mountain of frothy white foam that led its attack, I retaliated with my board as my weapon, and balance as my gambit. It was time. I slowly rose from my kneeling position to a very low squat. I rose, slowly. I could feel the stress on my quadriceps, calves, hamstrings and the tiny fibers they were made of. I clenched and tightened them with the movement of the waves; the sea had not given up yet. Now was not the time to panic. I rose, slower still, from my low crouch. Suddenly, my lead foot slid forward from under me. This was not part of the plan, nor conducive to my gambit of balance. My pulse quickened. I had erred and there was little time to fix it. I quickly edged my lead foot back, but I could already see the ocean water climbing to the surface of my board. The nose of the board had dipped under and cracked the glistening, seemingly crystal surface of the sea. With a single, final, assailment of anger at my mistake the sea thrust both me and my board through the crack of the ocean surface, instantly submerging us. We were railroaded by a combination of undersea currents and breaking waves on the surface. As I was tossed and flung about by the ocean currents and waves, salty ocean water seeped into my mouth through my pursed lips. Water rushed through my nose. My closed eyes were wrenched open. Suddenly, the assault stopped. I found footing on the bed of sand beneath me. I stood up slowly. The ocean waves had recessed in victory. I could see my surfboard floating as far away as the rope bound to my foot would let it go. I looked up and smiled. Then I laughed. That was my first wave. I swam out to do it all over again. This past weekend I went on a surf trip with some other students from university. It was an event hosted by a club for international and exchange students. Needless to say, it was an incredible adventure. I wish I had pictures to post but, of course, I opted to not get the waterproof camera. Instead I’ll put up a few pictures of other events that I forgot to visually represent…sporadically throughout the week because my laptop is currently out of commission due to an exhausted cooling fan that has decided to go on strike.