Wednesday, October 28, 2009


How to Deal With Localism at Surf Spots [or on ... well, you know]

Unfortunately, localism plagues many of the world's best surf spots. Understanding what it is and why it exists can help you avoid any unnecessary trouble.

Avoid surfing new breaks alone, especially if it is a popular break.

I wandered in, following someone with a dubious reputation. I was in an unfamiliar place, with in familiar characters. Fortunately, I was “sponsored” by someone with more concrete connections. When the former was ostracized, the latter took me under her wing. That bought me some air-cover, as she was “untouchable”

Realize that localism is a result of overcrowding. Therefore, the more crowded a break is, the more tension there is likely to be in the water. Because locals feel at home at the break and feel invaded by unfamiliar faces, they sometimes react in a negative manner to newcomers.

Especially if they have a couple years of history together; you are the FNG until the next FNG comes by

Realize also that surfing is a traveling sport, and nobody is meant to surf only those waves closest to home. You have just as much right to surf a wave at someone else's local break as that person has to surf the waves near your house.

Eventually, you’re going to get invited to a “meet-up” which is cool, because you get to actually see and touch and interact people who were previously 1s and 0s; heaven forbid you can’t make it though; or you miss a connection. Midnight Madness was my “debut” and worked out very well. Thankfully, I made some strong friendships that will carry on past this crisis

Watch the other surfers. If only a few people seem to be taking most of the waves, those people are most likely locals, familiar with the wave.

Simply: Beware Chatterboxes; they will steer the conversation as they see fit

Mark the surfers who seem like troublemakers and egomaniacs. These surfers usually make a lot of noise, bitching about the crowd or pouting about their wave. They usually talk loud to other locals to let non-locals know how "in" they are.

Give these arrogant surfers a little extra space. Don't drop in on their wave or paddle around them for the peak. Wait for them to take a wave, and then move to the peak position.

Plus above, needs no further comment

Be respectful, and concentrate on your surfing.

Remain calm if someone tries to come at you with irrational anger. Apologize if you did something wrong, but don't be a coward. Explain that you are only interested in surfing.

As I said, I gave total respect for those who trained with their calendars, schedules, gadgets and coaches, and so on. I even mocked myself as being a goofball, Zen-Core dork and NEVER tried to change anyone’s mind about how to train, what to strive for, how to challenge oneself … I do what works for me, and would never say to someone “I’m a purist! I run for fun! You’re missing the point!” If you know me, you know that I will duck, dodge, dive and bend, to avoid conflict. I am bamboo.

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” - Bruce Lee

Take your next wave in, and call it a day if the vibe in the water begins to feel overly hostile.

“I’m outta here” Their loss. I will still keep in touch with those closest to me, but not there. That beach is spoiled.

No problem for me. I think I found someplace more deserving my attention

misfits flag r3a copy

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Namaste and Aloha

(CNN) -- Legendary wrestling figure Captain Lou Albano, perhaps best known for his association with pop singer Cyndi Lauper, died Wednesday, according to World Wrestling Entertainment.

Albano, 76, was "one of the company's most popular and charismatic legends," the company said in a statement.

I posted on Facebook “Regardless of the weather tomorrow morning, I am gonna wear a Hawaiian shirt in honor of Capt. Lou Albano”

Yeah, so I ran 4 miles this morning in a Hawaiian shirt. Cold and windy, but no rain; the extra layer was welcome, believe me.

D: "What time did you get up?"

R: "Early"
D: "Did you run?"
R: "Yep"
D: "In that stupid Hawaiian shirt? For your Facebook friends?"
R: "Yep, but I wore my long sleeve skull shirt underneath"
D: "Why?"
R: "Because it was cold and windy"
D: "I mean why did you do the Captain Lou thing?"
R: "Because I said I would"
D: "You're an idiot"

That goes without saying. I’m also someone who gives himself little challenges like that, to keep the fun in running. Plus, if I promise my friends I'm gonna do something silly like that? I damn well go through with it.

I don’t do marathons; I’m long past chasing PRs [well, v1.0 ones, anyway … I have v2.0 ones I could take down a little bit, given the opportunity]. I get up and do my run. No schedule, no plan, no goal race … essentially, for no reason at all, other than “What else am I gonna do at 5:15AM?”

This tags me as somewhat of a freak on the boards. “If you’re not gonna push yourself to do your best - to put on a bib and compete - why even bother to run at all?”

Some things are more subjective than that, I guess. My morning run sets me up for the rest of the day; and if I do my three or four five miles a little quicker than the day before, that’s great. If not? I’m cool with that, too.

Just getting out there and having fun, is what it is for me.

Of late, eople have taken my laid-back training philosophy to mean that I mock them for their schedules and plans and calendars and gadgets and what not.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. I have a great deal of respect for those who use those in their training; I’m just self-actualized enough to know that I lack the discipline to make them function for me. As for the gadgets [Garmins, HRMs, and so on]? The simple truth is that I can’t afford them and really have no use. Of course, I kinda wish I had a treadmill, so I could prove to D’Wife that I DO have some common sense, and I'm not just a silly little surfer, running around outside in the wind, the cold, and the rain.

Perhaps they felt that my lack of “documentation” and “running just for fun” implied that I considered MYSELF elite; that I imagined myself as some sort of running purist? Not at all, really. I’m just a dry-docked surfer who found a sustainable metaphor to going out at dawn for a few waves to clear my head at the start of the day; no judges, no scores, no awards. Just me, the road [such as it is], the dawn and the woodland creatures; together and alone at the same time.

Sure, I have the itch to race, to compete, to prove myself in a way the others can identify with; but I’ll do it why and where the time is right for me. No pressure. Again, if I should do better than last time, that’s great. If not? I’m cool with that, too.

I’m not gonna let my Zen get rattled over it.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Fun with Electronics

Chilly, chilly, chilly yesterday morning, but so beautiful, with a crystal clear sky and a lopsided smirky moon looking down on me as I trotted past the cemetery for an easy 4 mile loop, my Team Tania blinky flashing away [my newest lucky charm/talisman]

I noticed on my way to work that sometime between my run and my drive in, the local law enforcement had put one of those "Your Speed Is ..." signs on the street I use ...

I wondered:

a) If I'm a large enough target for it to see me? [5'6" and 140lbs? Not a whole lot to work with]

2) If it will accurately record my speed? [Is there a minimum?]

iii) Could I get it to say "10 MPH?" [I could hit a 6:00 pace for a hundred yards or so, if needed]


The sign is about 8/10s of a mile out. My plan was to run past, just see if it worked, then continue on my 4-mile loop, before making my "speed run" then finishing up.

I was a little concerned that it only said "Buckle Up" as I approached. About 30 yards away however, it woke up ... "7 MPH" just as my friend Gator Bob had experienced, running past one of those himself.

Yeah, I wasn't gonna wait. I hit the throttle and pushed it up to "8 MPH" then "9 MPH" ... ... "10 MPH" ... As I speeded past I think I saw it "go to 11" for just a brief second.

"Well, that wasn't so tough" I sighed. Back in my mind, I guess, I had imagined I'd come up on the radar sooner [literally!] and would have required a longer sustained sprint.

Oh well.

I continued onward to finish my 4-miles in a gentle sprinkle of warmish rain.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

2009 MS150 - City to Shore

Yeah, sorry about that, but when I got it all written up - with the usual attention to detail that ya'll expect - it came out to be 24 freaking MS Word pages.

If you REALLY wanna read it ... You know where to find me. I'll get it to you.