Surfing takes courage. Traveling takes courage. Attending a surf camp in Nicaragua takes courage. Each of these things pushed me out of my comfort zone and have helped me gain courage.
There are many people in my life who are courageous.
Below you’ll hear from 9 high-spirited women who push the limits and live with exuberance. Each of these women are over 30, and most, like me, are on one or the other side of 50. They each have an undeniable essence and know a little something about how to live life to the fullest.
Spoiler Alert! It takes courage!
This post is long in coming. Eight months too long to be exact.
Back in October, I went on the trip of a lifetime. My surf sister Paula and I spent 10 incredible days in Nicaragua. Seven of those days were spent surfing our brains out with Surf With Amigas, a surf camp for women.
When I returned from that trip my life began to unravel and I didn’t have the emotional energy to write. I had to cradle the amazing memories of that trip gently in my heart.
Luckily, I have photos and videos to chronicle the spectacular surfing. But even more fortunate, I had the foresight to ask the adventurous women I met on that trip about their thoughts on courage.
All of the women I met on my adventure, both surfers and instructors, left an unforgettable impression on my heart. I was honored to meet each and every one of them and hope to run into them in the line-up again someday soon.
Here is what some of them had to say:
Where are you from? Jersey, United Kingdom
What is your superpower? Eternal Optimism
Your Motto In Life? “Give it a try. What is the worst thing that could happen?”
How do you handle fear? Recognize it. Decide if it is valid or not. If the risk is worthwhile, then bring your fear along for the ride.
How does getting out of your comfort zone make you feel? No one grows or develops in their comfort zone. Many of us are actually quite unhappy or unfulfilled there. I take on new projects. Initiate contact with experts. Learn new skills. Travel far away and alone. This makes me feel alive and happy. (Sometimes awful in the moment, too.)
I totally agree. So many people remain unfulfilled in their comfort zone without knowing how happy they could be if they just tiptoed out.
What does surfing add to your life? Surfing is a new activity for me. It pushes my boundaries. It is also meditative being in the ocean. Paddling out on a cold day feels like such a mind-over-matter achievement. It is a release from whatever tensions, duties and sadness exist on land. Surfing makes me love nature and the amazing planet that we inhabit. Even more, it makes me determined to do all I can to nurture it in all it’s richness for future generations of all living things.
Where are you from? Originally Ukraine now San Francisco, Ca.
What is your superpower? Strength in spirit; Brave in soul
What can’t you live without? Sunshine and the ocean
Motto in Life: Let Go, Let God
Thoughts on fear: I dance with fear. I am still afraid, but I go for it. In these moments I try to remember other times I was afraid but went for it and it all worked out.
How does getting out of your comfort zone make you feel? I always ask the universe to “show me more to teach me more.” I am happy that challenges arise – this means I am growing and my soul expands as it learns new lessons.
Love it! “Show me more to teach me more.”
What does surfing add to your life? Spontaneity. Freedom. Fun. New friends. A great mood enhancer.
Where are you from? Chicago originally (Go Cubs!!) Now I live in Encinitas, Ca
What is your superpower? My ability to laugh at myself and find humor in stressful situations.
What can’t you live without? Activity — I have to do something every day or I get too stressed, and then I get depressed.
Motto in life: Be grateful every day for what you have.
Thoughts on fear: I learned recently that every emotion is rooted in either fear or love. SO when I feel a negative emotion, I ask myself what I’m afraid of. And it usually brings surprising answers. I try to handle it by deciding whether the fear is rational or not, and what is the worst that could happen.
How do you get out of your comfort zone? I get out by trying new things and taking reasonable risks. And trusting in the universe that it’s going to be good for me. Usually, it makes me feel good and proud of myself that I’ve tried it, even if it is something I never want to do again (like volcano boarding!). And I learn more about how far I can push myself and where I want to stop. Plus, as a classic introvert, I am learning that it is absolutely ok to say no to things I don’t want to do.
What is your superpower? My imagination.
What can’t you live without? People I love sharing my life with.
Your motto in life? Each day is made up of minutes, so pay attention to the good minutes which always add up to more than the bad ones.
Thoughts on fear: I try to address fear head on and not pay attention to the ‘what-ifs’. If you know you need to do something that scares you, do it first thing in the morning.
How do you get out of your comfort zone? I think sometimes growth can be difficult. To me, pushing beyond a comfort zone is working on a problem that won’t seem to budge. Music has taught me so much about how to work on a problem. If I can’t sight-read an entire song, I break it down into smaller pieces, sometimes even note by note, until it starts to add up and the song comes together.
What does surfing add to your life? Surfing is freedom and exercise. The ocean is a place that rejuvenates and rebuilds the body and soul.
Where are you from? Roanoke, Va
What is your superpower? My Inner Child
What is your motto in life? Anything with the word Fuck in it
How do you handle fear in your life? Fear is usually a figment of our imagination and ego. I work on facing fears and ego directly or at least acknowledging them.
In what ways do you get out of your comfort zone? Trying news things and changing up routines. Getting out of my comfort zone makes me feel free and empowered.
I totally agree!
Why did you decide to try surfing? What did you think? I was on a Surf with Amigas vacation with friends. Um…..surfing takes practice.
Where are you from? Roanoke, Va
What is your superpower? Dark humor
What is your motto in life? “You have got to be fucking kidding me!”
What can’t you live without? Karaoke
How do you handle fear: Attempt to conquer it. If you have a phobia and it is present, breathe and pretend it is not near you.
How do you get out of your comfort zone? I purposefully get out of my comfort zone by riding roller coasters and watching scary movies. The adrenaline rush is worth it.
Thoughts on surfing: I started surfing to get out of my comfort zone and check it off the bucket list. My thoughts: “turtle roll, turtle roll, turtle roll, turtle roll, Oh Shit . . . . . abort mission!!!”
Where are you from? Truckee, Ca
Your superpower: Resilience
What you can’t live without: Lots of water
Motto in Life: Life is short. But . . . it can be long, too. So you better plan both ways. 🙂
How you handle fear: Be prepared. Visualize. Journal. Be in good shape.
How do you get out of your comfort zone? My comfort zone has a pretty wide range so most of the time I’m in it. I’m non-confrontational so when I have to speak up or defend myself I review my thoughts and try to keep kindness forward.
What does surfing add to your life? Surfing is humbling. Rewarding. Keeps me in shape. Forces living in the moment. I love the stoke!!!!
Where are you from? Australia
What is your superpower? Optimism
What can’t you live without? Color
Your motto in life? This is it. Live it. Live large.
That’s a great motto!
How you handle fear: I tackle fear head on. No matter how big the challenge, just go for it. Each time you face fear, it gets easier.
How do you get out of your comfort zone? Surfing constantly pushes me out of my comfort zone. It challenges me and makes me push myself. When I face my fear I feel both elated and accomplished. I also feel quite peaceful.
What does surfing add to your life? Surfing allows me to be present. It allows me to clear my mind of everything except what’s happening that exact moment. This helps me accept anything and everything that comes up in life.
Where are you from? Boston originally. Moved to FL in ’94
What can’t you live without: Surfing! It has become my power source, my healing, my connection to nature & spirit, my happy place, my challenge, my mystery, my inspiration. Being immersed in the sea and riding her beautiful waves is essential now to my well-being. I can’t go without it for more than a few weeks or I start to feel like I will shrivel up!
I totally agree!
Motto in Life: I don’t really have one, but I love this quote . . . “You only need one man to love you. But him to love you free like a wildfire, crazy like the moon, sudden like an inhale, and overcoming like the tides. Only one man and all of this.” C. Joybell C.
Thoughts on Fear: In general, when I feel fear, which is usually in the water when looking at big overhead waves coming at me, I recognize it, and then try to push myself into it as much as I possibly can. I still retreat from things I fear, but I’m trying to practice at least making the attempt to try – or to move closer towards it. Going through the push helps me to become almost inoculated to future similar situations, and each time I get a little closer to overcoming it, until eventually I do.
What surfing adds to your life: I used to go to church on Sundays. I loved it and went for many years. But when I started surfing, I found that the ocean and surfing became the place where I felt I could best commune with spirit. There is something so magical and mysterious and special about the ocean and how the waves we ride are really patterns of energy being carried across the globe in water formations to land right there in front of our eyes for their last breath. We get to go along on the wave’s last journey from who knows how many thousands of miles away in a beautiful ceremony every time we ride or watch a wave roll and crash into the sandbars of the shore. It is such an honor that only surfers and maybe some sailors get to know and understand. Surfing has become such an important element of my life. I hope to continue until I die!
I had a similar experience and totally agree with you. I love the way you talk about surfers being on the wave’s last journey. What an honor!
Live Life With Courage
My life was forever changed by that trip 8 months ago.
I encourage anyone wanting to live a full life, to do it with courage. Have the courage to surf. To travel. To put yourself outside of your comfort zone. Have the courage to get to know new people and places. To loosen your boundaries. To try things that scare you. You just might discover people along the way you admire . . . including yourself.
**I have to apologize if I left any amigas out. Since this post has been on hold since last October, my notes may not all be accounted for. If you were on that trip with me, and would like to be included in this post, please send me an email. I’d love your words included!
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