The biggest life lesson I learned while windsurfing
Approx 6 years ago when i was 14–15 years old, i was windsurfing to become a pro (i eventually did, i came first in my city’s windsurfing championship then i came second in National Championship then I went to World Championship to represent my country in following years), there was a move on the windsurfing board that i couldn’t do for couple months. But i was trying every fucking day for hours. One day my coach said come here by using his hands from a floating dock, I sailed to the floating dock. then he said “Okay buddy now you are leaving to sail again but this time you are gonna speed up and crash your equipment to the water as hard as you can while going that fast. I was like “Why? What? But?” Meanwhile of course i was standing up on the board and waiting with my sail and ready to leave the dock again. (It would rather die to leave the sail on water, just to pull that heavy thing back after 5–10 seconds from surface of the water in that wind conditions) Then, he suddenly pushed me out of the dock and waved me lol. I couldn’t get back to dock to talk again because of wind conditions. I was left alone to try what he said instead.
Then, what i did was, i lingered around 2–3 rounds, laps. In those conditions, you really don’t have time to think anything else in middle of the sea. Like you either have to make it back to the land by climbing up-wind (hardest direction to sail to reach land) before you get tired of course or you will find yourself in one of the far islands after couple hours while sitting on the board and hopefully someone realizes that you are lost and they cannot see you anymore. (Well, happened to me once and i waved and shouted to close boats near me to pick me up, no one heard or saw me. I ended up in random island lol, luckily it was one of the biggest and there was a crazy guy there taking pictures of beautiful view, sea, and me approaching to the island because windsurfing sails are beautiful. Meanwhile I was so tired that literally i wanted to throw myself on the sand and lay down there for hours then of course there were bunch of huge rocks and it was like hill so it wasn’t possible to do that. I tried to pull my equipment (board and sail) onto some kind of rock without damaging the board or sail. Because if you damage the equipment either board will sink when you get back on board in the worst case. Still if no one comes back to pick you up, probably you will have to spend a night there and sail back to mainland when wind calms down a little, and hope it changes its direction. Meanwhile the guy was still taking my pictures while i was trying to see if i’m going to spend my night there or not haha. Then finally i climbed up through rocks and i was like all wet and tired with my wetsuit, lifevest and windsurfing harness on. Afterwards i ran to go close to that photographer guy and i said
Hi Sir, due to wind conditions i couldn’t make back up to mainland. Can i use your cellphone to call my windsurfing coach so that they can come pick me up with a boat?
He was all shocked and with the face i cannot forget, he said
Sure, here you go.
Of course I couldn’t remember my coach’s cell phone number and i called my dad instead. My hardworking dad at work in his own chicken store where he serves chicken wings to his customers. I remember i heard he said “here is your change” to some customer then my cool dad begun his sentence like “Hey my mösyö! How are you doing, my surviving son at windsurf club?” It was something like that but i cannot translate it exactly from Turkish. My dad doesn’t know any other language than Turkish but Mösyö is a french word spelled and pronunced with Turkish letters which means Monsieur. He gives cool nicknames to my brother and me while talking to us. Each has different meanings for him apart from word’s actually meaning. He did his best to help us to be better than him. However, I will not spend all my time to explain another story.
Let me continue from what happened after i called my dad. I was like
Dad!! I couldn’t sail back to windsurf club, i’m stuck at some island. Could you please call my coach and tell him im here so that he can pick me up. Im calling you by using some stranger’s cellphone.
He called my windsurfing coach and someone picked me up eventually from that island.
Then guess what i did when i reached to mainland.
I said i wanted to do windsurfing more before sun sets while my teammates were laughing me their ass off. Even though i was the youngest in the team and no one liked me. I was dedicated to my purpose, i was going to get in that national windsurfing team and go pro and i eventually did. I raced at 2012 Techno 293 under 17 world-championship couple years after the day i stuck at an island and everyone laughed at me for weeks.
I went back to my board on the same day even though i was more cautious and stayed little bit closer to the mainland more than usual. I didn’t just give up or went to locker room and cry. Instead I was so mad to my friends since they acted like they have never failed.
Before I started telling island story, i begun with how i intentionally had to crash my equipment to the water, to learn some cool windsurfing move. On that day when my coach waved at me and i left the floating dock after that crazy talk and after I lingered around couple times. I was finally like okay i’m gonna do it now. Then i speeded up as much as i can while i was thinking “Should i do it or not?” Then when i was about to say “What if?”, i started screaming and speeding up even more and did really dangerous stupid move to crash. It passed 5–6 seconds after i crashed and i was underwater trying to remove my feet from the board and my body from the harness and swim under the sail and to reach the surface to breathe. When i reached to surface with that adrenaline. I screamed “Woo-hoo!” The water was so cold on that hot day and it felt so fresh and amazing. I got back on my board did water-start(a cool and hard technique to get back on board without pulling the sail up while standing up on the board — like amateurs?), i crashed my equipment to the water couple times again then i started trying that other move again and i was finally be able to do it. I screamed like “Fuck yeah, woo-hoo! I did it.” I don’t even remember if someone was watching me or not. I wasnt sure if my coach saw me or not. It didn’t matter at that moment i tried and did the same move over and over until i stopped getting scared of falling or crashing onto the water. I was feeling so good. I actually forgot that this all were happened. I just remembered now while biking at gym and reading a book(well i’m writing this story now, sorry about typos and lower case “I” letters. The book im reading is about self development and how to turn obstacles to advantages in life and a word reminded me this story. Its been three years and my life changed in a crazy way and went so bad that i had to make risky decisions. I moved to another country and left everything behind since i was gay and im scared to death if my family or anyone finds out back in Turkey. I changed in my life one by one. I got disappointed and i left alone, no one wanted to give me a hand, everyone blamed me for my decisions which still makes the think im on the right path. Everyday i learn from different people and books. Im living in a very diverse area now… Bay Area, California and I love here. I think I know how to be successful again and not be miserable. I figured out i already have the missing pieces of my puzzle and i’m not lost. I was trying and failing over and over again because i had a life goal and i’m gonna make it happen. No matter what. I’m gonna fail again and fail better like i did while windsurfing until become a successful person.