What Surfing Big Waves Teaches Us About Life



Garrett McNamara is a big wave surfer and is the Guinness World Record Holder for the largest wave surfed. You might remember seeing this picture above where he surfed a 78 foot wave off the coast of Praia do Norte, in Nazare, Portugal in 2011.

Every year big wave surfers gather at Mavericks (short for Titans of Mavericks), a contest to see who can ride the biggest waves. In 2016, at 48 years old, McNamara had the worst wipeout ever recorded, where he was flung across the surface of the wave “like a tiny pebble”. It’s said when you hit the surface of a wave at speed it’s equivalent to skipping across concrete.

Several doctors had advised him that he would never surf rough waters again, a severe consequence for a sportsman who has lived for the rush of big waves. It took several surgeries, herbal medications, and a daily regimen that would exhaust most humans, but he would eventually recover. At 51, he would surf again at this year’s Mavericks.

I found these two quotes from Garrett to be really great and applicable to life and investing:

“You are a grain of sand in a washing machine. When you ask to be a guest within a wave, the water makes the rules and you either adapt and respond or get thrown out in a very powerful and dangerous way.

Anyone who is at all spiritual will see the parallels in their own life. The world and its universe are a very big and complicated place and it make the rules. A centered person learns to be an adaptable and respectful guest who complements the waves. Surfing teaches you acceptance and gratitude for life.”

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Intelligent Fanatics August 2018 Digest