Posted in Surf/Bodyboard

Motivation Monday: Injuries Happen for a Reason

Happy Monday everyone! I usually look forward to Motivation Mondays, but this ones a little different. Because, basically, I don’t have a choice about what topic to cover. You guessed it: I got injured.

Every single person on this planet hates being injured. They’re frustrating, discouraging, and add fuel to the woe-is-me fire. When we get injured, a lot of times we feel singled out and like it’s just so unfair. After yesterday’s cosmic events, though, I think we should see them in a different light.

I was really excited to go surfing at one of my favorite & more terrifying spots, China Walls. It’s a big rock wall you jump off of and the wave breaks against. The spot only works if it’s a decent size swell – I’d guess at least five feet.

Since it breaks against the wall, you pretty much have to push off the wall and make a steep drop right next to it (I mean almost touching the wall) to catch it. Then you ride next
to it and peel off as it forms. It’s scary and exhilarating and exactly what I love about it.

I was catching some gnarly waves and rocky and I decided I get just one more. (By the way, how is it that we only get injured when we’re doing whatever just one more time?!)

Then a choppy, monstrous beauty came my way. It was the biggest, baddest set of the day and I wanted that wave. I caught it off the wall and was going so fast that I was catching air, skipping across the face the way a rock skips across a smooth lake if you throw it just right. People were cheering, everyone was watching, and I felt like the surfing mermaid queen.

Until I slid out a teeny bit on my bottom turn and got pitifully thrown.
I let go of my board and curled up in the fetal position as I got dragged underwater. I felt myself spinning as if in a washing machine, a powerless ragdoll at the mercy of the elements.
I knew I was going to hit the wall. The last thing I saw above the surface was the spot where the wall jutted out a few feet, and rocky had told me several times that the wall continued to jut out underwater like a sharp, underwater staircase.

I knew I wasn’t making it out of there unscathed. Who the hell did I think I was? I was no expert, yet I’d cockily caught an expert-sized wave. I should’ve known better, and I usually do; the ocean has a mind of its own, and we’ve played this game before. She was going to teach me a lesson.

My left butt cheek hit first, and I felt the wall make contact all the way down to my foot. It was like being dragged down a reef staircase by my hair. I knew fighting would waste precious oxygen and make it worse, so I took the beating until my head finally hit the surface.

Sadly, I wasn’t safe just yet. I’d gotten washed up onto a little bay, which is more properly described as a rock and vana laden minefield. More monstrous waves were breaking several yards away, and I had only a foot between myself and the rocks to duckdive. About ten feet behind was a huge boulder surrounded by reefy spikes (no, I’m not making this up) that blocked my path to safety like a patient guardian.

I dove down and held onto a rock, eventually pushing off the boulder behind me with my feet and holding on to whatever I could until the set eased. I saw others around me, but they, too, were fighting the waves and were in no position to help or even notice my plight.

I caught some smaller whitewash, hooked around the boulder, and crawled up to the ladder and onto safe, high ground. I didn’t realize how hurt I was until I saw my whole left leg was shaking I couldn’t put much weight on it.


I sucked it up and limped my way back to the car, ignoring the trail of blood I left behind. I hate blood. It totally freaks me out, so I rinsed off the back of my leg with water and wrapped it in a towel. Naturally, one of the uncles came over to check me out and informed my that my leg – from my butt to my ankle – was totally eaten up by the wall. In a moment of optimism, he said, “that was a really, really nice wave! And hey, at least it’s not your face.”

And something kinda clicked. Yea,
I was an idiot for taking off on such a crazy wave, but I learned an important lesson. I would never let my ego overpower my judgement so blatantly ever again. Secondly, at least I hadn’t hit my face. Or neck. Or chest. Or arm, which probably would’ve broken. Some cosmic hand had given me a proverbial slap on the wrist to let me know I needed to cut it out.

You see, injuries are humbling and they happen for a reason. They’re God’s/our bodies’ way of letting us know we’re pushing too far or doing something wrong. I’d much rather destroy my leg than my head; I think we’d all rather have shin splints than a far more serious injury that would require surgery.

As wonderful and dedicated as we might be, we’re only human. We’re inherently flawed, and there are forces far greater than ourselves at work. I urge you to listen to your bodies, your brains, and the signs that the universe is kind enough to offer.
Much love & lessons learned,



Aloha and welcome! I'm a small business owner, athlete, and mom-to-be in Honolulu, Hawaii, seeking to live the kindest and most compassionate life I can. From plant-based recipes to low-waste beauty to business lessons to travel, this blog is all things real life.

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