Surfing...yes, I know that it is probably totally illegal for a man of the balding, geeky character to engage in what is arguably the "coolest" sport around (for those arguing that the UFC or some similar sport has overtaken that title, I simply defer to history's seemingly current value); one which even requires coordination, guts, and an ability to flow. One would think that this is not the place for me...one would be right. Although I thoroughly enjoyed myself (and look forward to another chance to embarass myself), my body does not seem to be made for the act of falling forward along a fast moving (and rather powerful) wave of salt water. I just don't understand it...(what's that river in Egypt? that's right...denial).
Anyway, although the weather on Saturday and Sunday was not particularly good (rain and flying sand poured upon us while we tried to fight against the imposing current that would inevitably carry us a quarter mile down the coastline). During the Saturday session with Tina (aka the surfboard), I spent my surfing time attempting to move out into a strong position to catch the next wave. This never actually happened. Sunday was better (the general situation was the same, though with far less wind, sand, and rain), and instead of expending my effort trying to get out beyond the waves, most of my effort went to coming into the shore. Though ironically tragic, it really was a good time. Early on in the experiment, I actually caught something (I think)! But by the time I was done rejoicing in my mind, I looked around and realized that my opportunity for glory was nearly passed. I pushed down on the board with my hands, trying to lift my mass up smoothly and quickly. However, Tina disagreed and her nose dipped under the water...the rest of this trial occured in slow motion and many details are obviously lost in the translation. But it suffices to say that it involved much falling, short-lived pain, and enduring sense of loss.
Though the rest of this trip was fun, including such highlights as "manamana", Sunday school at a local Southern Baptist church, Bubba's seafood - where a group shared spanish mackerel (excellent), salmon, and stuffed flounder, swimming and losing (temporarily) the sight of shore, evening sessions of UHF and mafia, an exciting (and almost illegal) tromp through Regent University and the law school, Adam and Ginger (and their cookies), and a long trip through the night that ended with little sleep and a long [enjoyable] day, I'm afraid that space and time both require me to leave out the details (and the stories thereof). This doesn't even include the beautiful and entertaining conversations that consumed so much of our time or the charactors that I've met - Dan's bright, though insane, excitability; Jeremy's quiet and strong leadership; Kristi and Katie's interesting mix of music, caring, and joyful craziness; etc...
For those interested in Regent University, I would suggest starting with this NPR article discussing the more general concept of religious schooling before beginning with more detail oriented research.