Over the weekend I always try to get one long bike ride in. It usually depends on the weather, but my bike rides typically vary from 10-15 miles, and most always take place in the evening (the only time of day my skin can bare the Florida sun). The stormy weather of the past couple weeks have been brutal, so when a cloudy afternoon without rain introduced itself on Saturday, I couldn’t help but take advantage of this opportunity to get outside.
My favorite path rides along the beach, although you can see it much due to the large mangroves and sea oats that beautifully clutter the beach. About 5 miles into my ride, I noticed massive kites flying right overhead and decided to pull into a beach opening to check them out.
When I stepped into the clearing, my eyes fell on the 6 kite surfers that filled the Gulf in front of me. Bearing the large white caps, I watched as these surfers flew through the air and rode the waves. I sat for a while and watched the surfers come down the beach to catch the wind again, each with a smile on their face, as they drifted back into the water.
After I sat for a while, I decided to get up and go near their camp, where other surfers were preparing to kite surf, and talked to a few about the sport. One surfer explained how excited they all were that they had had the past few weeks to kite surf on a regular basis! The rough weather that swallowed the month of July had offered them a chance to learn and develop their skills as kite surfers. Most of the surfers I spoke with had only been interested in the sport for a short while, but were so passionate about the exhilaration it brought them, and how happy they felt on the water. Even when a large wave engulfed them, they shot right out of the water and walked back down the beach to try again.
After saying my goodbyes to the surfers, I walked back to my bike. Continuing my ride, I thought about the complaints from co-workers, friends, and classmates I had heard over the past few weeks about the crummy weather. How they couldn’t get outside, or how they wanted to enjoy their summer weather they had waited for. Then, I thought about the surfers and how this change in tide, and rough weather, had allowed them the opportunity to grow at their sport, and for some, fall in love with a sport that they had just come to know. They made the best out of a month of rainy weather and even enjoyed the new experiences it gave them!
This mentality of making the best out of a situation is not limited to kite surfing at the beach. In jobs, school, or internships, this attitude will help grow and foster innovation and passions we may not have even known we had! The kite surfers seized the opportunity to learn something new when they could have grouped with the masses and complained about the weather.
Next time something tries to stand in my way I’m going to challenge it. Like the kite surfers, I’m going to learn to ride with the wind.