But I Surfed Instead…Part 5

high-rez0364_1So, what’ll it be? Toward the light, or toward the sea? Photo: Taras

Once, in a moment of frustration at my lack of career ambition, my mom exclaimed: You could've been a doctor! Instead of what? Knee-jerk reaction, I calculated how much school that would've taken, the studying, the residency, the student loans, the practice…How often do doctors get to surf in a week once they're finally doctors? No, Mom, I couldn't have.

So what will you trade today to go surfing instead? What choice will you make? What will you miss? Will you regret it? Can you take him or her with you? Don't look back, Orpheus. Don't think twice (it's all right). There's always a little time in the day for a couple waves. Fix that in your life if there isn't.

"Every day you miss something when you're in the water," says Gudauskas. You just know someone or something's trying to get ahold of you by the time you get out. [laughs] In the '60s there were those draft-dodging surfers, but I guess even today, we're just dodging any bullet we can to stay in the water."

Indeed, Dane.

So, be reasonable or be unreasonable. Be responsible or throw caution to the wind, but know yourself. Once upon a time I wanted to pitch for the Dodgers. And maybe I should've finished the season just for good-form's sake. Maybe I should've listened to my mom. Maybe I should've been more balanced. Maybe I should've focused on my financial well-being. Should've saved it when I had it. But I spent it on traveling…to places with good surf instead.

Worth every penny.

*Part 5 of 5 from the "I Surfed Instead" cover feature essay
Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here
Read Part 3 here