Salmonberries

Fully ripe Salmonberries in Ecola State Park, OR, July 9th 2009

Fully ripe Salmonberries in Ecola State Park, OR, July 9th 2009

This morning’s surf conditions:

SW WIND 10 KT…BECOMING N IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT. SW SWELL 4 FT AT 12 SECONDS…SHIFTING TO THE NW 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS.

This description leaves out the part about being alone in the water in Smuggler’s Cove as the sun breaks over the hills at 6:15 am. About the fact that only the terns, and an otter, and a lone pair of beachcombers disturbed my solitude. I had a great session… no time to describe at the moment. But afterwards, I found a bush covered with beautiful Salmonberries. The day takes its name from this.

A maxim came to me. In the end it helped me have a much better session, especially the last thirty minutes: “Listen to the part of you that knows, not the part of you that thinks.” My inner guru brought the stoke.

Indian Beach in Ecola State Park, July 9th, 2009

Indian Beach in Ecola State Park, July 9th, 2009

Later, conditions continued to be good:

SE WIND 5 KT…BECOMING N 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND
WAVES 1 FOOT. NW SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS.

Sean McEnroe and I broke away from the family for a couple of hours in the afternoon to surf at Indian Beach in Ecola State Park. Beautiful sun, great waves, good company, another eternal moment.

Plenty of exercise today. I also did some pull-ups on the bar my dad and I finished building yesterday. We had a great great great (large) meal. I keep losing weight, I need to eat more. Right now I have many friends in the house. I must stop writing here.

The Pull-Up bar in Arch Cape.

The Pull-Up bar in Arch Cape.

Neoprene (aka Five Thumbs)

I skipped the early morning surfing session in favor of sleep. I needed it because of the cold/flu symptoms I suffered from yesterday. But I feel much better now.

After a 3 block breakfast and a morning beach stroll with Lena and Yael, I headed out to Short Sand beach, arriving about 9:25 am at the parking lot.

Five Thumbs

Today there were light winds coming from the South (blocked somewhat by the southern wall of Smuggler’s Cove). Wind waves were very light, maybe 1 ft, and we had a decent sized, but theoretically manageable 4-5 foot swell from the SW. Finally, a 15 second swell period made the waters seem pretty open. It was much easier (than yesterday) for paddling to the outside, and all in all, it should have been awesome. There were a lot of people there, all getting rides.

But, while the conditions were much more favorable today… I was… not in the flow. For some reason I felt utterly incompetent out there. I was wearing, for the second time, my neoprene Five Fingers shoes from Vibram. These didn’t work out too well, especially on my left foot. Basically, all my left toes keep slipping out of their “fingers,” leaving me with a useless lump for a foot. I was all thumbs. Five thumbs. Conclusion: for me, regular booties are better, and that’s what I’ll have on tomorrow.

But my problems surely went deeper than footwear. Yesterday, I felt strong, even in the terrible conditions. I was hopping up no problem (and I didn’t notice that my toes were slipping, even though they were). But today I had problems even balancing on the board (my 9’6″ Bruce Grant “Super Ugly”). I was too far forward on the board on most waves, and my nose kept shoveling in. I failed to stand up on every single wave I attempted to catch, even when I had all the momentum I needed. I couldn’t even catch a kiddie wave and coast in to shore to go home. Something was wrong. I took a pummeling, and got tossed a bunch of times. The fingers on my left hand were jammed. And of course, I did a lot of futile paddling. Maybe if I had sat on shore, rested for a while, and then tried it again bare footed, I could have gotten myself together. But I had family to think of, so I left, unfulfilled, and a bit puzzled at myself. But, there’s always tomorrow. I got back to my car by about 11:25 and was back home by 11:35. I’d guess I did about 75 minutes in the water.

It was a lot of work for… the reward of floating around in one of the most beautiful places on earth instead of working. Ok, in that light, not so bad. The stoke was not my friend — in fact I felt like I’d never surfed before, it was that bad — but it’s better than having a real life. Good times.

WOD: Neoprene

Today I did a CrossFit inspired workout during Lena’s nap, which I am calling Neoprene, in honor of that magic fabric that makes surfing in Oregon possible. It’s basically a scaled down “Angie” for surfers who lack access to a pull-up bar, subbing in skyrockets and burpees for pull-ups and push-ups.

Warm Up: I took rocks and set up a 50′ linear playing area on the beach. I did windmills, bear crawls, high knee and fast feet karaokes, crab walks, tumbling, freestanding handstand practice… and a couple of other things. Shoulder dislocates, sampsons, hip-mobility, the usual drill. But I held off on the calisthenics.

NEOPRENE:
50 squats
50 sit-ups
50 skyrockets (candlesticks to straight jumps)
50 burpees
For time

MY TIME: 16:36

I guess the time was too bad, if you take into account that I’ve been sick, that it was a second session for the day, and that I did it without a coach. (Those skyrockets really slowed me down! I need to practice them more. I think I am going to add them to my warm-up calisthenics, or to my skill work.) And doing 50 burpees after doing 50 burpees… well… if you do this sort of thing you know what I mean.

After the workout, my dad and I worked on the new PULL-UP BAR. WODs will get more interesting in days to come.

The Process (surfing Smugglers Cove)

Me and my Doyle Woodie at Smugglers Cove, July 6th, 2009

Me and my Doyle Woodie at Smugglers Cove, July 6th, 2009

Got up at 5:10 am (never mind whether I could sleep last night… I have dark circles under my eyes), 1.5 block breakfast, and my Dad and I left the driveway at about 5:35 for the ride up to Oswald West State Park.

The wind was high this morning, and the surf was absolutely lousy. The official report from the National Weather Service coastal weather forecast says it all:

S WIND 15 TO 20 KT…BECOMING SW 10 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. GUSTS UP TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 4 FT…SUBSIDING TO 2 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. NW SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS. AREAS OF DRIZZLE BEFORE SUNRISE. SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN AND DRIZZLE THROUGH
THE DAY.

This accurately described the conditions I faced. On the hike in I was moistened by drizzle. After reaching the sands, winds buffeted my board. The waves were relatively small and not powerful, but the northbound wind waves worked at cross purposes to the southeast bound swell waves, while the period was ridiculously short. The result was a tight and impassable grid of unpredictable and crunchy surf.

It’s all part of the process. I’m here to recreate with family, of course, but… I’m here to surf. Now, what I was doing today wasn’t exactly “surfing.” But over time, surfing comes from the process: to get up, to get fed, to get down the path, into the wetsuit, to wax the board, to stretch and warm up, to get out in the water, to wade, to paddle, to pop up, to ride. To do it again the next day. It’s all on the way towards surfing, and I’m stoked to be a part of it.

Crappy surfing, but it's better than working!

Crappy surfing, but it's better than working!


My Dad dressed as the prototypical North Coast surf photographer

My Dad dressed as the prototypical North Coast surf photographer

No Workout Today

I really wanted to do a workout today, but as the day wore on it became obvious that, if I am going to do regular work-outs each week (either M-W-F or Tu-Th-Sa), I will need to do them during nap-time. I missed any window for working out.

I might have rallied to do an evening workout. It’s still plenty light, the wind is down, and my dinner is sitting lightly in my stomach. But, I find that I am actually under the weather! The symptoms came on yesterday evening (yesterday: bronchial attack; today: sore sinuses). So, instead of working out, I have poured this medicinal whiskey for myself. My little illness is kind of shocking to me, since I haven’t been sick at all for a long three months or so. I honestly believe that this little illness is related to my excessive Dim Sum cheat day yesterday. I think my body just couldn’t handle all those rotten processed carbs in the filo dough, the steamed buns, etc. I haven’t eaten those types of things for months, even on previous cheat days.

Aloha Arch Cape!

This is a Rest Day — the first real, low activity rest day since last Sunday — and is another Cheat Day, since I had a massive Dim Sum lunch today that — I swear to God — almost killed me. It tasted delicious, of course, in the process, but afterward, even 8 hours later, it feels like someone took a giant rubber sponge and stuffed my intestines with it.

We said good bye to our Seattle family, and drove to Arch Cape, OR. Here we are! Tomorrow is the first day of surfing. Everything is all ready to go for a pre-dawn expedition. Destination: Smuggler’s Cove (aka Short Sand Beach). My Dad just told me he might join me, maybe just to watch from the shore. That could mean a photo for the blog!

Brief Analysis of Diet and Body Composition

Over the past two weeks, my weight has apparently remained within a one pound range as I consumed, on average, nearly 3000 calories per day. I’ve just changed the type of body fat percentage scale I am using; it offers a finer calibration, giving readings at 1/10 of a pound (not just 1/2 a pound) and 1/10 of a percent body fat. So, there is an apparent rise in body fat percentage, but it may be nothing more than a difference in the instrument used.

I’m going to interpret the data in a positive light, and we’ll see how things go in the next few weeks. I believe that my calorie needs are about to shoot up almost 500 calories per day, due to my plan to surf every single day while here in Arch Cape, while also working out “CrossFit Style” three days a week. But for now, I am going to continue to shoot for averages of 2700-3000 calories per day and see how my body responds.

It’s almost time for bed. More tomorrow.