I have the great fortune of being a surf school co-owner and instructor, so it is literally my job to get people stoked. That, and of course, actually teaching them how to surf. Now, for the lesson part, like any other job, I have the option of just “going through the motions”, of taking those steps that one memorizes after so many times of doing something. However, the reason that I don’t do that is because I love my job. Granted, even on those days where I don’t feel like giving a lesson, within about 3 seconds of arriving at the beach my positive attitude is back — there’s no denying the great fortune of getting to work in Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica.
Spreading The Joy Of Surfing
My love for the job goes beyond the obvious — it’s not because I get to be at the beach, surfing, and meeting awesome people, (although those are great), but because of the end result. That email that I get after someone goes back home to their reality of work, school, usually cold weather, telling me that not only did the love their surfing experience, but that it was life changing for them. That they are going to continue surfing, if that means going in freezing cold water and having to wear a thick and uncomfortable wetsuit and dealing with the prospect of — eek — great white sharks! Or that they’ve decided to buy a board and figure out a way to make it happen — despite the fact that they don’t live anywhere near the ocean!
An Amazing Job
I’m not saying it’s me that’s “converting” these people, it’s not. Or at least, not entirely. I have the deck stacked completely in my favor: Costa Rica, beach, warm water, fun, and an adrenaline-filled activity. Yet I have met people who have taken lessons before with instructors who seemed to be uninterested in really helping their clients, something that I simply cannot understand; surf instructors have one of the greatest jobs around.
So I do my best to not just convey my knowledge of surfing, but also of the ocean, the area, and anything else that may be pertinent. Though I have about 2-3 hours with most of these people, that’s more than enough time to make a lasting impact. So I let my own excitement about the sport be evident, knowing very well that it will be contagious. Because as much as catching one’s first few waves can be such an addicting feeling, for me the addiction is getting that email.