Ageless life lessons

5 Ways Surf Camp Turned Me From Heartbroken Crybaby, To Badass!

friends, not heartbroken

A year of heartache and pain was long enough to mourn my divorce, it was time to get tough, it was time to have a talk with myself. “Self, what the hell are you doing and why are you letting this event define you and your happiness? Stop being a heartbroken crybaby and do something!” That’s when the crying stopped, and I signed up for an all women’s Las Olas Surf Camp, their motto: ” We Make Girls Out Of Women.” That’s right, I was going to learn how to “hang ten” for my 51st birthday and be a girl again!surf camp roommates, heartbroken no more

Heading to Mexico for surf week was my first time traveling alone. What the hell was I thinking? It was too late to change my mind. I met a friend at camp, we would be roommates, and become good friends. When we arrived at camp with 12 other excited, nervous females, we got two more roommates for the week to share our fabulous two bedroom villa. Now there were four… let the adventure begin!

Our schedule for the week:

Every morning began with yoga.There is something spiritual about yoga, a sunrise, the ocean, and women on a spiritual quest. This is the moment I had an epiphany that brought me to my knees…  then off to a quaint cafe for a delicious, healthy breakfast, and finally a morning of popping up, turtle rolling, wipe-outs, gnarly waves and barely surviving.

By noon I was exhausted, exhilarated, and starving. Time for chips, tacos, and a tasty beverage. One rule, if you had a cocktail at lunch, you weren’t allowed to surf in the afternoon. Decisions, decisions! That’s the week, and here’s what changed me….

  1. YOGA.The Epiphany that led to tears of joy. If your life and past are memories in your mind, you can make them whatever you want them to be. Imagine the life you wish you had. My “father” was not a good man, so I made up having a great father. Why let the short years with this man define my life? If who I am is in my mind… I can change my mind… be a strong, loving, caring badass mother, friend, entrepreneur, and adventurer.
  2. SURFING is VERY HARD and completely out of my element. I was not good, certainly not the best at it, and it didn’t matter! What mattered was, being me, relating to people I did not know, who did not know me. People who didn’t know my life, my pains, just bad surfer me. The challenge was exhilarating, scary and I did it like a badass!! If I could overcome the fear of not being good, fear of failure, and fear of mother nature, then nothing else would scare me again. Besides, who had time to dwell on sadness, divorce or anything but the here and now.
    surf camp new friends - not heartbroken
  3. TEQUILA... yep… margaritas turn strangers into friends. I made many new friends over tequila and dancing the night away, the best one of all was the friend I found in myself.
  4. COMFORT ZONE.. is a lie! If we stay “comfortable” we stay the same! My surfing adventure made me forget my heartache and feel like a badass. It gave me the courage to step out of the box and do things I “fear” because this is when I grow as a person in confidence and faith, in myself, and my fellow man! Its has been eight years since surf camp and one thing I know for sure when I am “afraid” to do something, it’s a sign I must step out of the box and do it! (Within reason. I’m not going to jump out of an airplane without a parachute, but I will jump into something and build wings. Stepping out of our “comfort zone” is where we find happiness, and learn we can kick ass too!
  5. FINALLY…My week of Surfing, Yoga and Tequila was my version of “Eat,Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. We can create any “story” we tell ourselves, our minds are a beautiful thing when we learn to use it wisely. I choose to feel my heartache but not make it who I am. I choose to believe I can conquer my fears and insecurities, and that makes me a BADASS!!

Thank you for reading! I love to share these experiences because I also get to relive them with you! Here is a link to Las Olas Surf Camps. Why not find the girl in you!

Here is a link to the book that continues to inspire me  Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Nancy
    December 19, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Sheryl,
    You’re the baddest badass I know! I remember when you went on this trip. Love the insights!

  • Reply
    Brenda Niemeyer
    January 21, 2016 at 12:25 am

    I love how you took a hard situation and turned it into a life changing/growing moment that reflects who you really want to be. Sounds like it was an amazing trip.

  • Reply
    Kristen Wilson
    March 17, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    LOVED Eat Pray Love, the book was better than the movie, but still both good and I can see how that did something for you. Me, as 100% extrovert, can make bffs with the wall. But still.. sounded like a great time, mostly the margarita girl time. lol

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