That left Carey and I childless. Alone.
We immediately took advantage of the situation and booked a hotel on Cocoa Beach We tried to leave work early, but events prevented us from leaving too early. As soon as we could, though, we rushed home and packed. I grabbed my 7″9′ surfboard.
We dropped the dog, Cassie, at my mother’s house and we were beach-bound!
We checked into our hotel around 7:00pm and immediately took a nice, long, walk on the beach. The weather was gorgeous, although the sand was wet from the rain earlier in the day. We walked to Ron Jon’s Surf Shop from the beach near the hotel. The breeze was blowing gently, the sun was setting, and the beach was mostly empty. It was wonderful to be walking on that beach, holding hands with my love.
At Ron Jon’s, I bought a rash guard shirt in anticipation of surfing in the morning. Carey bought a pair of flip-flops. I personally don’t like shopping at Ron Jon’s, but sometimes you have to break down and just do it. I remember fondly the old, smaller, surf shops that used to pepper the Cocoa Beach landscape. Some are still there, but there’s no denying that Ron Jon’s is more convenient because they have the selection.
Anyway, after we left Ron Jon’s we hopped in the car and drove to Coconuts on the Beach. I love Coconuts and always try to make time to stop there when I visit Cocoa Beach. There was a two-man band playing on stage and Carey and I found a small table outside overlooking the ocean and near the bar.
I ordered a bowl of clam chowder and the seared tuna for dinner. Carey had a Hawaiian burger. We both had Corona. It was great. After dinner it was completely dark, so we walked along the beach near Coconuts and used the light from our iPhones to spot small white crabs scurrying on the beach. Carey had never seen them before, so it was quite a treat for her.
Shortly after, we went back to the hotel and to bed. It was late and we had put in a long day.
We woke around 8:30am and, after a meager continental breakfast, we headed to the beach. We made it there by 9:30am. We didn’t have a lot of time – we needed to be back in Clermont to pick up Ashlee by 1:30pm and it takes 90 minutes to get there from Cocoa. So I had from 9:30 – 11:20 to surf and enjoy the beach – just under two hours.
I put that time to good use. The waves were small, no larger than a couple of feet and with infrequent swells. I was initially disappointed, but I quickly realized that this was the best possible scenario for me. I am still so weak that larger waves and more frequent sets would tire me out as I tried to paddle into the surf to get in position to catch a wave.
I DID tire quickly. The water was cold and I still think I am stronger than I actually am. I paddled out though. Truth be told I was nervous. It’s been a year since I was on a surfboard and I was much stronger then. What if I couldn’t catch a wave? What if I fell off and had a hard time recovering? I am still embarrassed by my weakness.
Luckily, I caught a wave relatively quickly. The feeling of riding a wave again, of being on that surfboard and feeling he water rush beneath me, was amazing. I was so happy.
I caught quite a few waves, and I fell off a few times as well. I tired quickly and missed some truly awesome rides because I was just too tired to paddle into them any longer. But I did ride some good ones.
What made it even better was that I could look to the beach any time and see Carey lying in the sun, watching me. She didn’t look away once. I have to tell you, people, I am amazing daily at her love and support of me.
She told me later that she was really worried it would be too hard for me, that I wasn’t recovered enough, and that I would be disappointed. She, literally, clapped for joy when she saw me catch a wave and ride it in.
Finally, though, I tired beyond my ability to continue. I wearily paddled in and lay next to Carey on the towel. I had managed to surf for an entire, whopping, hour. That’s right; one hour. I used to stay in the water all day, but all I can mange right now is an hour.
I am pleased, though. I got out there. I rode the wave. I was, truthfully, afraid. I conquered that fear, though, and was very pleased with the result.
So, after drying off, Carey and I realized we had very little time left, so we rushed back to the hotel, showered, and left to pick up our daughter.
What a great night and day. Now that I know I can, at least a little, surf again – I have made tentative plans with my brother-in-law to go surfing next weekend. This time, though, we’ll be bringing the kids and let them surf.