I've tried surfing once before with a friend, but couldn't do much. So, the last 3 days in Costa Rica were devoted to trying to get the most of local waves. It is discouraging - realizing you know what to do, but body doesn't cooperate, white water throwing you off the board, thighs red and blistered from grasping the board begging for rest and aloe.
The no pain no gain deal want the worst though. The embarrassment of having to practice with the huge boat-like learners board was. Mind kept screaming "you're a bodybuilder, why must this take so long to figure out!? You're strong and adept!" The more I let the ego talk, the harder it was to stand up. The more I reminded myself to put the head down and paddle like it's the last wave of the day, the swifter my body, the board and the wave became one.
By day 3, I had *somewhat* started to get it. Humbly practicing a new sport is infuriating - like riding a bike or lifting. Coach yells at you, points out mistakes, you set to correct on the next try yet repeat them all over again. Realizing most good surfers grew up on the water doesn't help. That doesn't mean, I can't learn it too. It's never too late.
The last few days also made me appreciate the craft of patient coaching due to being on the other side - a trainee. I don't give myself enough credit for training beginners in the gym , and maybe should! True - most lifters can explain a good squat / bench / deadlift form, but not many stay there tweaking tiny things that will grow a new lifter to the next level, and giving a pat on the shoulder when the client is mentally and physically exhausted. Same with surfing: gently tweaking feet placement, body tilt and center of gravity allowed me control the ride better with time.