With all the terrible things going on in the world, we should be thankful every freaking day for the things we have. We are incredibly fortunate when you compare our lives to the lives of others around the world. Yet we manage to find lots of reasons as to why our lives are so unfair. It's not until we get lucky, really lucky (think negative pregnancy tests) or until we hit the third week of November - the week in which we celebrate Thanksgiving - do we stop and reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for. Four seconds later, we're stuffing our faces and watching a crappy football game on TV.
So in the spirit of once-a-year gratitude, here is my second annual top 10 list of things I, as a surfer, am grateful for:
10. Live streaming of ASP events from around the world so I can watch incredible surfing and listen to cracker jack commentary from the comfort of my cube.
9. The Surfer's Journal and Surfer Magazine for their thoughtful essays and articles that reinforce that surfing is so much more than just smacking the lip and saying "sick" in every sentence.
8. craigslist and eBay for providing the opportunity to find a gem every once in awhile to add to my quiver. As the old saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure.
7. Jack O'Neill for inventing the wetsuit, an innovation that allows me to surf in NorCal year round. Without it, I'd be playing golf or video games in my free time.
6. The Surfing Heritage Foundation for their efforts to preserve surfing's rich heritage and their attitude that surfing is as important as any other aspect of our nation's cultural history.
5. Scott Bass for consistently putting on a tremendous annual event that celebrates the beauty of the surfboard and the skills and passion its craftsmen apply to shaping the boards that not only delight and inspire us but also provide an escape from reality and a connection with nature.
4. The vanilla flavored scented trees I can hang on my car's rear view mirror. They smell like surf wax even when I can't go surfing but don't melt all over my seat, dash, or floor boards.
3. Randy Rarick for putting on a great Tripe Crown every year, for being a true ambassador to the sport and for his beautiful surfboard restoration work. There isn't one guy in surfing I'd rather spend more time with than Randy.
2. The variety of shapes and fin set ups that will never make surfing stagnant. While no two waves are alike, surfing the same board wave after wave would get old.
1. The variety of breaks I and most surfers have access to that again ensure that surfing will never get boring. Points, beachies, rivermouths, swell direction, tides, and winds make every experience different and also very special.
Lets not forget how lucky we are. Not after Thanksgiving, not after Christmas or New Years. Not ever.
Until next time, may your waves be head high and glassy. If they aren't, be thankful you got to go surfing anyway.