We spent last week down in North Cornwall, living the adventure dream; surfing, running, and of course getting some work in too! Despite some typically rainy Cornish weather, this didn’t dampen our spirits and we managed to get a few sessions in with the legend that is George Stoy from George’s Surf School.
With limited surfing experience between us, we went back to basics for a refresh on a very empty Polzeath beach.
As adults, we get to a stage where learning becomes optional rather than necessary but it’s exactly what a lot of people do in preparation for an IGO – learn one (or more) new skills in preparation for the challenge.
In our surf lessons we learnt just as much about the learning process as we did about surfing; and it’s hard. It’s tiring, physically and mentally, and frustrating when you don’t catch on as quickly as you’d like. But it’s also incredibly rewarding and worth doing.
Some advice –
- Start small – if you are a high achiever in life, the tendency is to dive straight in at the deep end and hope you’ll pick it up. Do that in surfing and go straight for the big waves and you’ll get smashed to pieces! Be sensible – start in waist deep water, and focus on getting your technique right before moving on to bigger waves.
- Find a good teacher – someone who is adaptable to your group/ needs/ style, and who makes it fun. There’s nothing worse than trying something and being immediately put off by the teacher. George was a fantastic instructor – coped with our different skill levels and we were all up and riding by the end of the first session, which is the most important thing!
- Take breaks – learning to surf is EXHAUSTING! It uses pretty much every major muscle group: arms, core, legs and brain. I think if George hadn’t been there to encourage us to come back onto land, assess what we’d been doing, have a break, and then head back in, we would’ve just got more and more knackered and frustrated at what we were trying to do rather than realising that actually we just needed to rest for a minute.
- Enjoy it – it’s a cliché but sometimes it’s about the process not the destination. Use it as an opportunity to meet new people (studies show that those with active social lives outlive those who lead solitary lives) and test yourself. Taking part in an IGO introduces you to a community of like-minded people who enjoy doing the same thing as you – who knows where it could lead?
A huge thanks to George for putting up with us last week – we had a cracking time in the surf and are now back in the office refreshed and ready to go!
If anyone is interested in organising surf lessons with George, contact him on email@example.com or call 01208 479006