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When pride is a good thing…

October 25, 2012

A few days ago I went surfing for the first time in my life.

I love the ocean… From afar, that is. Getting into the water without the protection of a boat or inflated arm floaties is something I never do. I have always been very afraid of submerging my head under water. Be it in a pool, the ocean or a river, I absolutely hate the sensation of water up my nose and not being able to breathe. In fact, I still pinch my nose and squeeze my eyes shut when dunking my head to get my hair wet.

And so it was with a lot of trepidation that I approached my first ever surfing class. Heart racing. Palms sweaty. Eyes dilated in sheer panic. But I knew I had to do it. It was not a question of whether I would try it but whether I would make it. I am happy to report that the only damages incurred were one lost contact lens, a huge intake of salt water and a bruised right hip.

Floaties

When I tell people about my surfing experience, their instant reaction is to say how impressed and proud they are of me. I would modestly smile and brush it off. But for whatever reason, when my friend, Rachel, told me she was proud of me, something clicked. It occurred to me that though I was hearing people saying this, I had not said it to myself. I had not acknowledged my own good work.

When she drove away, I took a moment and said to myself, “I am proud of me.” And this warm feeling started in my heart, spread out to my arms and legs all the way out to the top of my head and I felt giddy! “Holy crap! I am awesome!” I practically skipped up my driveway!

I had overcome this super scary thing – way out of my comfort zone… When in the past I had let my fears dictate my decisions. I needed to recognize that I am this person who pushes up against her very edges. So I deserved a pat on the back – not from others but from myself. I don’t tell myself enough how proud I am of me. I don’t always make big courageous decisions but I make brave choices all the time. Whether it’s trying a new dish, learning to do something or going up to a complete stranger. I take the harder road when easier ones are available. I continue on when many might have given up.

When I talk about pride, I am not talking about switching teams. I am talking about more than just accepting compliments from others but recognizing all the good things within ourselves and projecting it out to the world. We are good whether or not others see us and shower us with accolades. It is most important that we recognize within ourselves the work we have accomplished, the work we continue to do and the work we WILL accomplish.

So be proud of yourself and let your freak flag fly!

How have you celebrated yourself today?

Photo via Flickr (Creative Commons) by Board Shanty.

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From → Yoga

7 Comments
  1. At the risk of being repetitive – wow, I’m am so proud of you! Seriously…amazing.

    • Thank you, Annie. Written down it sounds like the experience went smoothly but really I fell the wrong way every time, took some pretty bad tumbles and choked on a lot of ocean water… But what matters is that I got back on, right? Right? I don’t know if I’ll do it again. Maybe. 😉

      • I think the fact that you let yourself fall at all…and put yourself in the position of falling at all is what’s important and impressive. What an amazing thing!

  2. That’ll do, Sam. That’ll do. 🙂

  3. Congrats on trying something new! You *should* be proud of yourself for stepping out of your comfort zone. I always tell people that you don’t know if you like something until you try it. Worst case is you don’t like it. Best case – you love it and wonder why you didn’t dive in sooner (no pun intended). I’ve always wanted to try surfing but I’m scared for the reasons you’ve stated – tumbling everywhere, drowning, losing my contacts.

    • Thanks, Michelle! I didn’t hate it as much as I did skiing and zooming towards the shore was thrilling. I think I will probably try it again. It really helped that the instructor was one of the kindest most comforting man I had ever met. 🙂

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