I’m Clare and I’m an addict. A surf addict*
One day I was an ordinary, rotund, 38 year old, morbidly obese (BMI 41 so yes, really) lazy lass. I was bumbling along with a pint in one hand and a cig in the other. I had fun, went to lots of gigs, had friends, met new people and travelled a bit. But, something was amiss. I felt pretty crap about myself and had no real interests other than going to the pub which in turn was adding to my weight and to my lack of purpose and direction. Had I let my best years go to waste? Was I over the hill? What was my purpose in life? Dramatic? Me? OK, maybe a little.
In February 2013 it all changed when I took a surf class on holiday and I caught a wave on my ample belly for the first time. From that moment on life was neber the same . I struggled to even lie on the board in my first surf class and had no hope of getting up. I had an amazing, patient teacher who kept telling me I could do it and for the first time in years I started to believe I could conquer something I was finding hard instead of saying ‘ I can’t’ and walking away and going home to cry.
Me and my teacher sat on the beach together after the surf lesson and I vowed to him I was going to learn to surf properly. I’d go home lose weight, get fit and clean up my act and come back. For the first time in years I actually believed the words that were coming out of my mouth. I had to learn how to surf.
So, I went home and immediately took up a healthy diet. I joined a gym, started a running programme, lifted weights, took up Pilates and circuit training. I tried everything. I knocked the booze on the head. I lost about 65 pound ( there’s still more to go but, I’m working on it) I completed a half marathon just four months after talking up running and raised £500 for the Wave Project, I finally quit smoking and took up skateboarding again after 18 years of not being on a board. Every step of the way my motivation was surfing. I had finally found my why.
Today I have been surfing for about a year and a half. I say surfing, what I mean is trying to surf. It took me aorund 100 hours of lessons to stand up. I still cheer, woop and clap myself if I catch a tiny wave and don’t fall off. I look around to see who else is looking so they can clap me too. I’m like a giant neoprene clad toddler taking their first steps and looking for approval! I am not cool at all but, I am passionate. I have the sea and surf in my blood like a virus and when I can’t surf or be near the ocean I’m pining like a lovesick teenager.
So, this brings us to Surfabella.com and what it’s all about. During the last 18 months I have shared my story with friends both privately and through social media and to my surprise people started saying how I had inspired them. I have helped a few people with encouragement and a little advice to take up running or try something new.The fact that before I was the person least likely to have done all of the things listed above made people think well, if Clare can do it so can I .
So, here is Surfabella. My blog. I finally started putting this together while I was off work recovering from a skateboarding injury. I hope to entertain and inspire other people with the continuing stories of my capers in surfing, skateboarding, running and this latest daft quest to get a 6 pack for Christmas for my Morocco surf trip, don’t hold your breath on that one.
I really hope you enjoy reading Surfabella.
Mahalo. Clare xxx
*Being a surf addict is not to be confused with being good at surfing