I've been out on my bike a lot recently, a combination of enforced dry dock, lack of time, lack of decent waves to get excited about, maybe if i'm honest a slight dimming of the desperation to get wet at any and every opportunity.
In fact it's been kind of liberating to have something to do for fitness thats always available and not dependant on the lining up of several fickle things. It's been fun to find a new way of getting a little shot of adrenalin, learning some new skills. One of the things i've enjoyed most has been exploring the place that i live in a whole new way, seeing familiar places with new eyes and going to beautiful places that are within a couple of miles of my well worn ruts that i never knew existed.
Maybe it's a part of getting older but i feel i've found a kind of peace in my surfing lately. Dont get me wrong, i still love it, i still get butterlies of excitement when i wake on a day thats good and i know i'm going to get waves, but i dont feel like i have anything to prove anymore, to myself or anyone else. I know that it doesnt matter how many sessions i miss, i'll still be able to surf ok when i get in again.
I think i used to feel like i was somehow "getting away with it" with being able to surf to a decent level, being fit, being accepted in the local surfing community as having something to offer and that if i didn't keep pushing, pushing, pushing i'd somehow get found out as an expensively kitted pretender worthy of derision not respect. I think a lot of my happiness in my own self image was tied up in it and thats not the healthiest way to be. Maybe there's some buried childhood thing - i do remember a traumatic losing of a sack race at sports day somewhere along the line!
I also think there is a kind of underlying macho bullshit in surfing associated with wave size, from the magazine's obsession with them right through to the casual downrating of wave size by many of the surf reports. I like small waves and i'm not ashamed to say it, for me they're more fun.