Swimming and swimming and swimming — getting back to my body surfing roots.

bodysurfer

For the past two weeks or so, as part of a physio rehab program on shoulders, your blog correspondent has been swimming and swimming and swimming (obviously without the slings)*. Laps in the pool are too boring, so I’ve been swimming with fins at Serangan, across the hundred meters or so of reef lagoon and out to the lineup and around a bit in the waves and back in. Surfers (the better ones at any rate) give me odd looks but relax when they realize I know how to duck out of their way. It’s been interesting to watch the surf school students up close and personal.

Surf’s ranged from knee to overhead. I’m not risking any body-surfing, becoming one with the lip and plunging down the face, but I have fun enough safely dolphin-diving under the surface as a wave rolls over and pushes me along. I don’t think I’m as graceful as a dolphin, though.

You know, this does bring back a flash of your blog correspondent’s boyhood, when I spent hours in the water at Kuta, then an empty stretch of coconut grove beach, with tumble weeds and no plastic along the miles of sand, body surfing the waves. I had no idea the sport of board surfing even existed (I wouldn’t see my first surfboard at Kuta until 1970). You learn how to body surf just simply by playing around in the waves. It comes instinctively to kids. The Kuta groms at the time played around with broken bamboo outriggers.

When I was a boy, I body-surfed as a boy, but when I became a man, I put away boyish things and surfed as a man upon a board, and when I became an older disabled man, I put on my duck fins again.

Three more months until I am even older but rehabilitated man who can once more get on a board (long and wide and thick for minimum paddling requirement).

* I dont’ wear the slings anymore, the photo was just for a lark. Left shoulder is at six months post-op and is pretty much good to go surfing, right shoulder at three months.

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