Learn to Surf – CHECK
“When you want something, the whole universe conspires in order for you to achieve it” — A quote from the book The Alchemist.
A week ago Sunday, I was sitting in the lobby of a swanky hotel in downtown Dallas. I was with my friends Brandy and Fran. We were in town on business. We were having some drinks waiting on our other friend, Mark McKay, to arrive. Brandy said, “That lady over there has a tiger!” I turned to look but saw no one. Fran said that she saw it too. Now then, I’m a big fan of Tiger King so I had to go and check this out for myself. I got up and walked down the hall and sure enough, there was what appeared to be a tiger cub. A lady was walking it on a leash.
I don’t remember the exact sequence of events but we invited the lady, her husband, and their cat to sit with us in the lobby. Turns out it was not a tiger cub. It was a Bengal cat. The cat was incredibly cool and had the markings of a Bengal tiger. His name was Maverick. The couple and the cat also had a lady with a very nice production camera in tow capturing their every move. The cat was trained and could do tricks. The reason for the lady with the camera was that they were in production of a second season of a Netflix documentary called Cat People. Maverick the cat is the star of the film. He became popular for his favorite pastime, surfing. Maverick and his owner have surfed all over the world. Here is a link to a clip of Maverick doing his thing https://youtu.be/bNXF-yi-I24 . I asked his owner why they named him Maverick. He said the word Maverick is a common term in surfing. It’s used to describe huge killer waves. That was the first instance of The Universe speaking to me.
Fast forward two days and I’m at the Gaylord Resort in Grapevine. I was there for a work meeting. I was standing in a line to pick up food for breakfast when a buddy and colleague from our TV station in Providence walks up behind me. The first thing he said was, “Hey Chris, have you been surfing yet?” Patrick knew that “Learn to Surf” was on The List. The List is my bucket list I have been working on since 2013. Patrick is a serious surfer. I told Patrick I hadn’t, but I was going to get to it soon. That was the second time The Universe spoke to me. As I walked away from the buffet line I knew the time had come for me to check this one off of The List.
3 days later, I sought out and found a surfing instructor in Galveston. Last Saturday, I learned to surf. I had a blast and rode several waves. I think this is something I intend to do for a long time.
I still write all of the time. I wear my coworkers out with my psychobabble. A few people have asked me about my canoe race story. I am still working on that. I write for a while, and then it starts getting very dark. That’s when I stop. No lie, that race messed me up mentally and physically. I am finally getting back to where I can get around normally and feel normal. I had a friend ask how I was doing with my health at the conference in Grapevine. I said, “Doing great except for the numbness in my feet, ankles, left knee, right arm and face. Other than that, I am A-ok!” Today my buddy and Texas Water Safari teammate, Charlie, texted me. He said, “I still can’t believe we did that race and finished.” Well, Charlie, I can’t either. Yup, that race may have messed me up, but I wouldn’t trade the experience I had with Charlie and my kids, Jason and Ellie, for anything in the world. As Dickens said in A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
As always, I hope you Find Your Adventure and Live Your Life.
PS-Look for me, Fran, Brandy and Mark in season two of Cat People. We hung out with the cat people for a couple of hours. They had us sign releases to use our stuff in the film. I want to say now that we were drinking quite a bit. According to the Geneva Convention, anything said while having multiple cocktails in hotel bars may not be held against you.
PPS- “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.” This is another one of my favorite quotes from The Alchemist. If you’ve not read the book, you should. Below is a picture of Maverick as well as me surfing.