I started surfing much later in life than many of my friends. While I had spent plenty of time in the water, most of them had 10 years under their belts when I got my first surfboard. Desperate to get caught up, I asked a good friend and surf instructor for pointers. That's when I got the best surfing advice I've ever been given... he said simply, "two more paddles."
I thought I missed something. What was that...? He said again, "two more paddles."
"two more paddles."
I didn't follow so he graciously elaborated. He explained that at the moment you thought you had caught the wave the best thing you could do was give it "two more paddles." Worst case, you caught the wave a little early. Best case, you caught a wave you might have otherwise missed, a common mistake among beginner surfers.
His comment rang true and after applying his strategy and catching more waves than ever, I went back for more wisdom. This time he was no less profound... "buy more surfboards and wetsuits," he said.
I was sure I missed something. But he repeated... "buy more surfboards and wetsuits."
"... the more you surf, the better you will get."
"Buy more surfboards and wetsuits, because it will encourage you to surf more, and the more you surf, the better you will get." He was right.
I've learned that it doesn't take much to get you in the water when you might have otherwise said, 'no thanks.' A new board or wetsuit will surely do the trick. But even something small, like the right song on the radio, or that link you followed from Instagram of your favorite surfer ripping mushy waves on a fish, or even it being a chance to try that newfangled extra grippy wax that only the pros use.
Even the small things matter. And any excuse to get in the water is a good excuse to get in the water. Even if it's a chance to try that new sunscreen that you've been waiting to give a go.
So find your excuse, any excuse, and get back in the water. It's waiting for you.