Your Dreams & Dealing with the Unexpected.

by Belinda on September 12, 2011

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By now you have probably realized, life doesn’t always go to plan.

Sometimes it feels like the moment we set our sights on achieving our dreams – things go to sh*t.  Don’t be discouraged! Often this is a sign you are on the right path to amazing things.

Maybe you have finally decided to get your dream body, your dream house, your dream lover :) or just maybe – your dream life.  Along the way the unexpected will happen – things will take a sudden twist or turn and you will find yourself somewhere very new, not anticipated or desired.  How you handle things under pressure will make all the difference in the world. To illustrate,

Let me share a story from one of the very special times of my life. 

When my life went to pieces and I found myself alone with all my dreams dashed at age 40 – I did what any conservative, church going, straight laced executive would do and sold everything, took my backpack and surfboard and travelled Central America.  It wasn’t a vacation – I was leaving my old life behind forever.  More to come about this on future blogs but….

Today I want to tell you about my first ever surfing “tube”. 

The tube ride is considered to be the ultimate maneuver in surfing. If you are watching from shore, the tube rider may disappear from view as the wave breaks over the rider’s head and then exit out the end of the wave. The longer the surfer remains in the tube, the more successful the ride.

Remember, my dream was to learn how to surf.  But along the way I caught my first tube – something very unexpected but it wasn’t quite like you see in this video!

At the time I was living an (almost) dream life.  Falling asleep and waking up to the sound of breaking waves.  Surfing to my hearts content.  Living in my bikini, eating fresh seafood, local produce and tropical fruits every day. It was here I learned to really surf, in one of the heaviest surf spots in the world, the Mexican Pipeline in Puerto Escondido (featured in the above video).

It wasn’t kindergarten surf and if the truth be known that is where I should have been.  But fearless and focused on my goals I had travelled from the other side of the world to live the surfers dream….

I lived in Puerto for 4 months and that fateful day the waves were very nasty.  The wind was screaming down the beach and the ocean spray stung my face as I paddled out.  Before I had even caught a wave I was exhausted by the super strong undertow that threatened to suck me into the rip at the slightest loss of concentration.

Here came my wave.  I paddled my heart out but to my terror it sucked me up… and up…. and up towards the sky for what seemed like forever  and then it paused and curled as if in slow motion and then……suddenly the UNEXPECTED happed – I was inside my first tube!!! Woohooo! Only one problem, I was lying on my board (instead of standing) and being spun at 360 degrees sideways rotation at an incredible speed as the wave churned me down the inside of the pipe.

After realizing what was going on I was overcome with FEAR!  The water was only waist high – and when you don’t make the pipeline you get seriously or permanently injured and deaths are not uncommon.  What did I do? I let the fear go and concentrated on survival.  You can’t achieve your dreams if you allow fear to dominate your life.  Let it go.

Let Fear Go and Clear Your Mind

As I cleared my mind and my instincts kicked in. I hung onto the board like my life depended on it – and probably it did.  If I allowed the wave to rip the board from my grip serious injury was inevitable.

Under Pressure, Trust Your Instincts

After what seemed like an eternity the inevitable happened, the wave slammed me down like a ton of bricks into the seabed below – barely a few feet of water.  For a few moments I just floated, waiting to feel the pain, waiting to register the damage.  Nothing. So I found my feet slowly and stood up dazed and amazed, to realize I had survived with nothing less than a serious shaking up.   After recovering from the shock I gave thanks to the ocean for sparing me that day.

Be Thankful for Surviving

A few hours later I could be heard joking I had just got my first tube – but deep down I was somber.  On the way to achieving my dreams I had brushed a little to close to death once again.  I think it was that day I decided to change my motto from live to surf, to live to surf another day….

Be Prepared to Change Your Game Plan

I left my (almost) dream life in Puerto Escondido over 6 years ago to live in Panama but the lessons I learned changed my life forever.

When your things don’t go to plan, when you get detoured from achieving your dream body, your personal best in the gym, your weight loss goals – don’t let discouragement overwhelm you, don’t give up, don’t blame yourself.  This is the moment of truth.  Be strong, be fearless, trust your instincts and be prepared to learn and change. And realize that it’s a sign you are well on your way going beyond what you ever could conceive possible!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dennis Baptiste September 15, 2011 at 9:37 am

‘B’ i’ve just read your Blog on surfing in the Mexican Pipeline, WOW was so inspirational but sounded great also. But as you mentioned never let your goals you do not achieve detract you from giving up. Thanks ‘B’.. there is hope down the line while you are around.


Belinda September 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

Dennis! Great to hear from you, how are you?? Ahhh, thanks for the sweet comment, you know, there are many times disappointments make me feel like quitting – but I just pick myself up, learn from my mistakes and keep going. Funny how if you do that enough times, one day you look around and realize you’re living your dream!


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