Caught Inside

Since moving to the Canary islands for work, I have built a new routine to which I added different hobbies and sports that I wouldn’t practice before, at least not so often. My days have transformed and become more invigorating. And each addition has introduced me to different groups of people from all over the world.

To begin with, I got back to running long distances with the only difference being the landscape through which I ran. I replaced running through dense, green forests with coastal roads with heaps of wind and nice sunset views on the ocean. However, neglecting the importance of warming up and resting when necessary, I injured myself.

Rather than waiting for the shin splint to cure, I replaced running with skateboard cruising, every day vinyasa yoga, resistance band workouts, freediving and surfing. I even tried rock climbing, but it did not go as I imagined in my head. So once I got around these sports and practiced them intuitively without strict schedules, the routine started changing and with it, myself.

The most significant change I have noticed occurred right after starting to surf. Every session has been different, but the after sensation has been the same. The release of good-feel hormones and neurochemicals, like epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine, has provoked a feeling of laid back euphoria called the surfer’s high. And if at the beginning I was going to surf once a week, this high evoked the will to go surfing almost every day.

Las Canteras Beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Practicing the pop-up and catching the waves for a longer period of time on the same beach, I was ready to try another beach. Luckily, at the same time I also met a group of people through a work collaboration, who were either eager to learn or already knew how to surf. Therefore, I brought the surfboard down to work and stayed on the beach afterwards.

At first it was essential to understand which was the best time to surf on that particular beach and once that process was learnt through a couple of sessions, everything became smooth. We would meet on the beach at noon and stay in the water for as long as the conditions allowed. Later on, when the surf forecast for the afternoon converted into a choppy sea, we decided to do dawn patrol, which means waking up before sunrise and catching the waves with nobody around. Additionally, the conditions are usually better at sunrise because the temperature over land drops down during the night, calming down the cold wind coming from over the ocean, resulting in a cleaner swell.

Sunrise at Playa del Hombre, Gran Canaria, Spain

Personally, doing dawn patrol was a revelation of pure happiness. Not only because I got to see the view of the burning Sun rising above the water while creating this gorgeous colour gradient in the sky that fused with the sea surface, but also because I got to share the joy of catching the waves with friends. Plus coming to the lab from these surf sessions made the work feel like crema.

Mentally speaking, surfing has helped me manage the stressful situations that happened during the long-term experiment. While physically speaking, well, I have craved more fresh, vitamin-rich foods, become stronger and lost a few adipose cells, too. All in all, writing this on my rest day only makes me wanna go back into the water. Tomorrow, for sure.

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