Surfing is my religion, if I have one.

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There is no ocean around me, not even a single drop of salty water. 

No refreshing wind, neither a sailor nor a shark to avoid getting bitten by.

Two years ago, I unexpectedly moved to Vancouver. Nature, adventures and mountains were part of the deal. A love like this was going to leave me heartbroken. Walking every morning only to watch the greatness of the mountains was my definition of happiness. The sunlight, a smell of the sea and a glance at the highlands. It was the kind of story you tell your kid to fall asleep. It could have been my story, but Montreal beg me to come back. I needed something to save me.   

Suddenly, I found a reason to survive in this burgh. 

River surfing. 

Credit: Bob Cooper - wsj.com

I know, Saint-Lawrence River isn’t the cleanest place to surf, you get out of the water and got a fishy smell that stick with you for the whole bus ride back home. So, you go there, you take a class and the teacher makes you paddle the hell out of you when you suck at it. Going to surf and not being able to paddle with such a beautiful, powerful way is really bad, but it’s alright, we have all been through it. At least I hope! 

After this galling moment, you’re ready to catch some swells. You idealized yourself like the next Kelly Slater of Quebec, catching the wave, getting up like a pro, doing some airs. A Utopian vision of the situation, which, unfortunately, doesn’t work that way. 

You walk on the bike lane, trying to avoid knocking people up with your longboard and finally, you can have access to the river if you survive through the tree branches that beat you up. There you are, watching the wave. There is only one, its 9 am and there’s no sunshine, so you are a bit chilly. You jump on your board, paddle against the wave until you’re close enough, turn around with the help of your flabby arms, and you paddle the strongest you can. Even though you may not be able to get up the first time, or even never, the feeling you get from being part of something that powerful make you feel like one of those pro-surfers. The best part of surfing is having a board and aiming to do your best. It’s to realize the beauty of something untamed, to forget for an hour or two the connected generation that we are. It’s to be with yourself and the water, no matter if it’s the ocean or the river. I won’t write a poem about it, you get it I’m sure. Discovering that humans from Montreal liked surfing, and actually, went into the river to catch a small wave help me accept the idea of my life here. If you find yourself being around with nothing to do, find the wave and give it a try.   

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