If I do not get into the water, I cannot ride the wave.
And if I do not ride the wave
I will never experience the exhilaration and view from the crest.
Ocean waves long have been the subject of quotes and metaphors.
Last week I heard an aging rock star describe one uber successful phase of his career as “riding the crest.” Things were clicking for him as the wave carried higher and further. It felt like nothing could stop his forward movement.
That got me thinking. In order to ride the crest, don’t we have to first find the wave? When we find the wave, we then need to ride it and angle for the crest. At times we might become overwhelmed by the waves and tossed. Or we might ride the wave yet not reach the crest. We then wait for another one to come. Another one always comes.
I asked a surfer friend for some words that capture the power of waves and crests. He told me, “We surfers look for the crest (lip of the wave) and stay right in front of it or within it as it throws out (going for the tube). We can’t overpower it. So we truly go with the flow, the motion of the ocean.” (Thanks, Tim!)
I have never been on a surfboard, so I can’t speak to that experience. I do ocean kayaking and have had a fair amount of recent experiences with waves going out from shore and returning. More times than not, I have rolled the kayak coming to shore. I did not in those times ride the wave or adjust to glide into shore. I often fought it or let it overwhelm me. I did not, as mentioned above, go with the flow.
It’s a metaphor for life. At times, an ocean of turbulence surrounds you. Ride the crest? Hell, you do your best just to keep your head above the crashing waves! In order to ride the crest, you have to find the wave knowing that it has the capability to overpower. Or you can quit and paddle into the safety of the shore where you become a spectator. And there have been days on my kayak when I took that route. I needed to catch my breath. I was no match for the motion in the ocean on that day at that time.
Waves represent opportunities. They come in different shapes and sizes. Some are ripples. Others may appear to be 64 feet tall. Some days the waves tell me to “leave the dinghy at the dock”—today is not the day to hitch a ride. And that is OK as long as it does not become an excuse to never wade into the waters again.
If I do not get into the water, I cannot ride the wave. And if I do not ride the wave I will never experience the exhilaration and view from the crest.
Video recommendation for the week:
Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.
My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.
Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.
Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.
In the meantime, check out her blog.
And you can still order:
- My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
- Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.
You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®