Wave Me On

“Strange how my heart beats to find myself upon your shore….”Enya

I can’t swim.  Fear is my companion every time I put on my PFD and climb into my kayak for a paddle.  Paddle off the north shore of Oahu on a surfboard?  Not in this lifetime.

A while back I was there and I watched them in awe:  locals, vacationers, professional surfers from around the world cutting, twirling, gliding on gigantic turquoise waves.  Safely perched in the warm sand I had a bird’s eye view of super human focus, athleticism and skill.  Awesome.

But the best view was closer in…at the edge.

I watched a procession of surfers… one at a time… walk along the steeply sloped, foamy edge and then stop, board in hands, pausing for no less than 30 seconds, some as long as 90 seconds… steely still, eyes on waves before them… each executing a seemingly humble study of what lies ahead… recognition of forces that could prove exhilarating, once-in-a-lifetime and forces that could crush them.  No juvenile impulse for action or cues of dwindling day light would jeopardize this pattern of pause.  The moment at the edge was part of the ritual, the wave of respect to the ocean and what is possible.  Indeed, the art of the athlete began on the sand edge.

What if you stood on your edge…outside of the door of your team meeting, on the fringe of your manufacturing floor or retail space, in the driveway outside of your home after a long, long day at work… and what if you were still, respectful, intentional about the possibilities before you…

Indeed, the art begins there, on the edge.

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