My alarm is going off and today it is exceptionally early. I feel dazed, my body not connecting properly to my mind. It’s dark out so I’m having a hard time telling what time it is. Did I set my alarm right? Could it be 2 am? Because it feels exactly like 2 am. I peer around my dark bedroom, my brain scanning for something familiar. I don’t have my glasses on so it looks like there’s a shadow man in the corner of my room. This happens often for me, I can’t see shit so it’s easy for my half asleep mind to get creative. Maybe I have 3 more hours of sleep, I think to myself, that would be great. It’s definitely 2 am. Once my brain cells wake up and have time to register what’s going on, I realize it’s in fact 5 am, and I have somewhere to be.
There’s a special place in my heart for those everyday dawn patrollers. They are the ones that get a few hours in before work or before they take the kids to school, or before they go to school themselves. The sky is dull and their bodies are tired but they get there because they know it’s all worth it. I’m a morning person, a freak by nature as 6 am is my usual wake up call. For most, that is hell and unheard of. Even so, it still takes strong determination to get up before the sun, drive down to the beach, and hop in that cold water. Terribly cold, like peeing in your wetsuit for a few moments of warmth cold. (We all do it) But there’s nothing like surfing at daybreak, only a few other deranged people out, glassy waves and its calm. The kind of calm and stillness you wish lasted all day. I have this theory that if it looked and felt like 7 am all day, I would have the most productive day of my life.
I jump in the ocean, the elements piercing my hands and toes, and am amazed at how well my wetsuit is working. I’m from Southern California, we don’t exactly know what real cold feels like and usually bake in our neoprene, so it’s nice to finally know that this thing works. I paddle out involuntarily taking deeper breaths, I think my body’s way of generating more heat, and catch my first wave of the day. The waves are small but it’s still fun, it’s always fun. About an hour goes by before my body can’t take the frigid water any longer. I’m weak. By then, the usual crowd has made it’s way out and it looks like just another day at the beach.
So, here I am standing on the shore, fresh out of the ocean and admiring my deeds like I deserve a gold star for the day. My toes are slowly dying a most noble death from the cold, and I can’t stop shaking for even one second to take a sip of my coffee, but I feel really great. Like the best I can feel. Surfing at dawn is something I say I’m going to do a hundred times, and when I finally do it at a hundred and one, when I finally set aside the excuses or my extreme laziness, I find I am a much happier person. Some days are easier than others, some days it’s mushy, some days it’s a dream. But waking up with mother nature is where it’s at. Maybe it’s not an everyday thing but it should happen often and with a smile.