The Sundown Surf Challenge Recap: My Story.My Whole Story.—-Toddy Stewart (The Endless Bummer)

When I was in fifth grade I tried out for baseball for the first time.  I was so good they put me on the fourth grade team.  Once when I was a freshman in high school I was getting beaten so bad during a wrestling match all I could do from my totally submissed position was smile and give a thumb’s up to my coach.  My sophomore year I got cut in the first round of tryouts for the basketball team.  My junior year I got third in long jump at the All City J.V. track meet.  I quit the next day in a haze of pot smoke.  Oh, and I once played “The Love Theme” from Flashdance at a piano recital.  I think I was twelve.  So when Tyler Breuer slotted me into the men’s logboard division of the Sundown Surf Challenge, I jumped at the chance to finally fail with grace.  I figured I’m old enough to be able to compete without caring about competition, without fearing the humility of it all.

I’ve never actually been to a surf competition.  I didn’t grow up a grom scratching around the weekend meets and I didn’t know what to expect, but I was hopeful, you know, hopeful for a little camaraderie, some laughs, a chance to surf alone on some waves and maybe pique my son’s interest.  It was actually all those things.  I got to surf all morning while the kid’s division were going on.  The boy got to watch some surfing and play some foamy paddle ball.  We ate fish n’ chips.  I got to surf some more while everyone went on lunch break and I got a few laughs with Ty out in the water.  The one thing I didn’t expect was how long a surf meet is.  They start out with the junior juniors, work their way to the mid-level juniors, head to the senior juniors and then circle around again.  By the time I realized they wouldn’t get to the men’s comp until later in the afternoon, I’d already surfed three or four times and made my son late for his long-awaited play date with Louise.  Yeah, Louise.  You know.  Louise.  So it was that my dream of teaching my son how to lose with dignity was squashed by my own shortsightedness.  We had to pack up and run off a good two hours before my date with destiny.  I was so bummed, the only solace coming with the sight of my son’s sparkling smile as he ran off to play with his friend.

I’m not sure how I would have fared in the heat.  I think I had a fair chance of at least putting up a respectable showing, and as Coach Jamie later digitally patted me on the back he spoke some true words: “The best thing about not competing is that we always woulda won. That’s why I quit many years back.  Now I’m world champ.”  

True that, true that.  But next year I’m planning better.

Original story found here: http://endlessbummerny.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-sundown-surf-challenge-recap-my.html

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