I went for a surf today.
It was my first day of no work in quite a while, so I decided that rather than stress about it I’d enjoy it.
When I got to the carpark at The Spot there was one other car there and it was a beautiful sunny, offshore day with a very small swell. I sat there for a few minutes and watched some waves roll in. Small… low tide, so very shallow, breaking fast, but ridable and best of all, no one out… That’s a rare find at any break these days so I decided to watch a bit longer.
I hopped out of the car and stood in the carpark and got talking to the other guy.
‘Not much happening’ he says.
‘No – true – but still – a beautiful day and no crowds’ I reply.
He was on his phone checking some data on the net. ‘I’ve been here 30 minutes now. The sets are at 5 minute intervals, the tide is rising… and he went on with info about swell interval etc etc.’ He had every piece of data you could want on what the surf was like today and it said to him that it wasn’t any good. Now I’ll grant you it wasn’t epic Spot, but after he drove off I decided to paddle out.
And it was small, shallow (first ding in the new board!) and fast, but I had a good 15-20 waves in the next hour and a surf that was as good as any I have had in the last year.
The difference was that I paddled out and got into it rather than analysing the data and making a sensible decision.
I think we do this often in life. Look at the data, see that the numbers don’t add up and miss an opportunity. There are times to listen to the numbers and times when you just have to paddle out and take the punt. It doesn’t always pay off but then the numbers don’t tell you everything either.
Whether its business, life, church or whatever let’s not be driven purely by the numbers,and miss the opportunity of the more adventurous path…