Dear Surfing,

I hate you.

I’m so over you. You humiliate me. You make me feel like a worthless piece of shit.

And you are right, I’m not good enough for you. It’s true. I suck at this, I suck at life. Just let me go in peace.

This relationship has been unhealthy from the beginning and we both know it. You hold all the power and you use it to belittle me.

In fact, sometimes I think you are trying to kill me, perhaps you are. Right when I think you’ve had your fill of slapping me, I look up to see yet another wave about to annihilate me as I ditch my board for the third time in the impart zone, out of breath and wondering how long you will make me suffer before letting me breath again.

You fling me around like I’m nothing and you physically harm me. It’s abuse and I’m ready to stand up for myself.

Worse than the scars all over my body, the broken bones and waterborne tropical illnesses you’ve bestowed upon me, is the mental abuse. You constantly show me other surfers more worthy of your attention and you taunt me, telling me I’m not good enough for you. But clearly they are.

Dear Surfing: I Hate You
A surfing incident in 2 foot waves got me 13 stitches in my lip

It’s incessant, your abuse. Every morning I faithfully come to see you and every morning you smile and wave for me to come enjoy your company. And some days you are actually kind, more than kind, you are the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. But there are too many days when you are a total bitch to me. There is no reason to beat me down so hard while sending so many good rides to so many other surfers.

Why don’t you love me like I love you? Am I not good enough for you?

If that’s the case then I quite. I don’t want to compete for your attention. I don’t need your humiliation. I can do so much better. I used to be a really good snowboarder and a marathon runner, there are plenty of other options to stay fit and enjoy nature. I don’t need you!

But we both know I’ve been here before. Like the last time I got out of the water, flung my board in the sand and exclaimed, “I hate surfing and I quit!” I could hear you laughing from behind my back as you sent another perfect pave peeling down the point. “Shut up! I’m serious. I HATE YOU!” and you responded by giving a kid 15 years younger than me the ride of his life, right in front of me.

Dear Surfing: I Hate You

But I know how you are. Just like the last time I walked away and the time before, you convinced me to come back, “It’ll be fun, just for old times sake, it doesn’t have to be serious, I’ll be gentle today,” you promised. And you were right.

You know what? I think you crave me too. Because just when I’m ready leave you for good, you do something spectacular for me. You send me a ride I’ll never forget.

But it is more than fun, it is electrifying. Your energy is unlike any experience I’ve ever had. You hold me, you hold all the control, and yet you surrender to me. You open up and you let me have a part of you. You make me feel beyond alive. You make my soul dance. The truth is that I’m addicted to you.

You make me feel like I have always been everything, like I am infinitely powerful. I want for nothing when I am one with you, except for more of you.

When I sleep, I dream of you. When I’m away from you I feel like my life runs in black and white. You turn up the volume on the universe.

But it is when I crave you most that you give me nothing. You remind me in no gentle way of my own humanity, my flaws and my weaknesses. OKAY I GET IT! You don’t have to rub my face in it. I suck, I’m nothing, I quit, you win.

Dear Surfing: I Hate You

So this is it. Don’t write me back. I don’t want to see you anymore. I think it’s best for us both if I just stay away from you. My self esteem just can’t take it.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had this conversation. I know you are going to ask for one more opportunity, like you always do. You are going to hand the power back to me, you are going to invite me over for one last ride.

And I know I’m going to cave. I know you are going to give me just enough to get me to come back, again and again.

I guess the good times are still worth putting up with your bull shit after all. Because when it’s good, damn is it good! I mean, I miss you already. You probably miss me too. I probably won’t even send this letter because I’m afraid of pissing you off.

I Just want us to be like we used to be, back in the beginning, when it wasn’t so serious, when we used to spend all day just goofing off together. Why can’t it be like that again?

Because it isn’t. It isn’t all fun and games. It isn’t easy. In fact, sometimes it is downright awful. But sometimes it is downright mind blowing bliss. Relationships take work, the greater the challenge, the greater the reward right?

Dear Surfing: I Hate You
Having a rest after a heavy wipeout, trying to decide if it’s worth it to go back for one more

I keep waiting for the bad to outweigh the good so I can walk away without a broken heart. But the the truth is that the worse you are to me, the more I appreciate when you are good to me and the more I crave you.

You’ve thrown me off of some pretty high heights. You’ve also always broken my fall. Each fall greater, but each high higher. I’m afraid that one day it will be too much to take. But I’m addicted to discovering the potential of just how good it might get.

Dear Surfing: I Give Up

So I guess I’ll just save this letter for later, right now I miss you. I’m going to go get my board. See you in a few.

I love you,



***Dear Reader:

Obviously this post hints toward an unhealthy romantic relationship.  I was able to identify these aspects of surfing because I’ve been there. I had to get help to get out, I couldn’t do it on my own.  If you think you or someone you love is in an abusive relationship I urge you to educate yourself on the signs of abuse and then to take action toward mental and physical safety. This page has a number of resources to get you moving toward a better life. Don’t wait. Help is out there and abuse does not have to be tolerated. 

I am a writer and wanna-be big wave surfer. Surfing is my muse. I write about it and how it’s teaching me to live better. I hold certification as a nutritionist, personal trainer, yoga instructor, and lifeguard instructor. My story “100 Days in Mexico” of how a solo road trip surfing my way through Mexico changed my life can be found here


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