Not everyday is going to be the "greatest day." Some days, it's going to be complete shit. It could be super easy to blame it on the waves and the conditions you have no control over. But that's not the right mindset to be in. Today was one of those days for me, where I had to actively remind myself to not be so whiny.
It was incredibly frustrating to go from crushing it Tuesday on waves that were around 11ft, to taking over an hour to catch a 5ft. The waves kept closing out on me. People were paddling out in front of me. Someone tried to party wave when I wasn't expecting it. Some waves flattened out as I popped up. I wanted to scream.
But then I had to switch my mindset. It's not the waves fault, they're just doing their thing and being waves. The people who were bugging me? I just had to paddle to a new pocket.
When waves are coming and they are closing out on you, you have to switch your drop-in technique. You have to go in a bit more sideways than normal to be able to navigate away from the break and not get thrown forward. It might take a set or two to get that down. You also have to be a lot lower to your board when you pop-up, and you have to be able to maneuver a lot better than if the wave was being nicer.
The thing is, I know these things already, but it took a me a while to get back "in the zone" because of how incredibly frustrated I was. But when I get like that I remind myself that I'm out there because I absolutely love it. I will deal with bone chilling water, clogged ears, numb hands and feet, because I am so incredibly, head over heels, in love with this sport. And the ocean deserves my patience.
So when I was finally able to take responsibility for the things that I DO have control over in the water, you know what happened? I caught some great fucking waves. It can be hard to not blame the things you can't control. But we also have the power to change how we approach a situation. If the waves are being weird, then you can't rely on your normal ways of doing things. So at that point, it stops being the waves fault, and it starts being yours. You have to learn to critique yourself, because that is how you get better. That is how you fail upwards.