Urban Surfer

Look closely at this picture. What do you see?

You might see a tall, handsome man in board shorts standing beside a black luxury vehicle.

But, look closer…

That, my friends, is an XL Escalade with a surfboard on top. Meet Chad, a man who lives stoked. This guy’s most stellar attitude towards life is paired with a wicked lust for tequila and history of cantina table dancing along the western coast of Mexico. He is a man from whom we could all learn a thing or two.

I will henceforth refer to him as Urban Surfer.

The picture above was taken in Dallas, Texas. In case you have never had the immense pleasure of visiting, Dallas is a wee short on waves and water. Unless of course you count those screeching ones in the wave pool at Hurricane Harbor or Hawaiian Falls. This is a charming spot whose amount of concrete per capita is rivaled only by its ratio of Protestant churches to strip clubs.

Recapping for a minute.

Chad is a surfer.

Chad lives in Dallas, Texas.

Dallas is low on water features. Way low.

You might be thinking, perhaps he was heading out of town to catch a wave. Maybe grabbing a spot of breakfast before setting course west to California for a week of surfing in Malibu?  Or even better yet, headed to the airport to check that board, cross the Pacific and hit the North Shore.

Nope.

He was simply buzzing around this godforsaken, landlocked concrete metropolis on a regular Friday, tending to his daily duties. As you may have guessed, Chad is not from these parts. He has spent a good portion of his days either in or heading towards a salty body of water. An advanced surfer from California to whom proximity and access to the sea is an essential part of life. He is a man who thrives on the intense rush of riding smoothly along some of nature’s finest waves. It is vital.

However, allow me now to demonstrate his current circumstances. I like to draw pictures, so here is a dandy lil’ map I crafted in Powerpoint with the help of Google maps for a most childlike illustration.

I know, you envy my formidable cartographic skills.

Why does this man, whose veins pulse salt water, now find himself isolated from the sea?

It’s simple. For the love and well being of a child. Dallas, the godforsaken concrete metropolis, has just the right school for his son. So, Dallas it is.

I would like to think otherwise, but most people in his circumstances might easily be disillusioned by all this – close up and shut out past passions in order to survive the present. The result being a raging case of resentment for having left behind the things most treasured and vital to their happiness in order to do what’s best for others.

Instead, he finds the upside to everything. Always. Remember, he lives stoked.

Yeah, Dallas is low on water features. Rather than pack a tampon and go cry to old Aunt Sally, the Urban Surfer will just improvise. He looked for what Dallas does have and made it work.

Exhibit A. Dallas has a lot of pools. So, he keeps the skills up while teaching the next generation.

Exhibit B. We all know Dallas has a ton of Mexicans. So, he enjoys slow-cooked barbacoa tacos and sips Casa Noble whilst sporting the surfboard once again, this time at a gas station. Why when there is no salty stuff within 300 miles? He says, cause it makes him feel happy.

Exhibit C. Yes, there is a beach within a days drive, and by “beach”, I mean Galveston. But what it may lack in Malibu-style wave action it makes up for in world-class windsurfing. Urban Surfer simply learns something new and takes along a Mexican to keep it interesting.

What else does Texas have? Oil, baby. He claims there is something called tanker surfing. Yes, you heard that right. He has big plans which include surfing in the wake of a oil tanker in the Gulf of Mexico. Seriously, I gotta see this.

While his many adventures will continue, so will his most stellar attitude. His excitement about life is infectious. He has the uncanny ability to adapt and improvise within current circumstances. Even circumstances which hold the potential to limit his happiness – at least how he once defined it.  You see, he simply redefines what it is that makes him happy and cares enough about his life to search these things out.

He lives stoked.

Recapping once again, what is his reason for driving around this godforsaken concrete metropolis with a surfboard on top of his truck? From light to light? From carpool to Taekwondo?

Because if it makes you smile, why the hell not.

I’ll definitely sign up for that.

And maybe that tanker thing too.

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