Looking for an opportunity to exhale after a busy week, I took a walk along the beach. The unseasonably cool day coupled with the strong winds chased nearly all of the die-hard beach goers away – all except a few hardy surfers. Choppy waters and whipping winds wasn’t enough to deter them. Watching as they practiced their craft, I was surprised by the important life reminders tucked in the sport of surfing.

1. Improve your balance by strengthening your core.

Surfing requires a strong core. The unsteadiness of the board beneath the surfer’s feet requires agility but even more so steadiness that comes from a strong core. In life, the waves of our daily storms will threaten to knock us off our feet. In those times, we need to rely on our core. Know what’s at your center and continually work to make it stronger. One of the most effective ways I’ve increased my core is to remember answers to prayer. I write them down which makes it easier to stand the next time the waves of life smack.

2. If you get knocked down, get back up.

Even the most experienced surfer is knocked from their feet. It’s the same in life. At some point we’re all thrown for a loop. The key in surfing and in life is to get back up. Refuse to stay down. Refuse to be discouraged. Reorient yourself. Gain your sea legs and get back up. It is with this sense of persistence the journey continues.

3. Choose your opportunities carefully.

As surfers lurk out in the water where the waves form, they survey the swells that roll towards them. Thoughtfully they choose which waves to “go for” and which to let roll on by. When they pick a wave, they go all in. They give it their focus and attention, riding it as far as it can take them. In life, we need to take a chance on the opportunities that come our way. No, we can’t grab every opportunity that comes near but, we can carefully choose which ones we will give our all. It’s only when you take a chance that you “catch a big one” – in surfing and in life.

4. Stay connected.

As a surfer prepares to head out into the water, they wrap a small Velcro strip around their ankle connecting them to their board with a leash. When they wipe out, the leash keeps their board from getting away. While it’s helpful to have the board not drift out to sea, it also provides the surfer a respite if they need to catch their breath after a rough wave. In life, we need to be conscious as to what we’re connected to. What do you keep close to provide strength when you’re knocked off your feet?  When you keep your faith close, you’re connected to the source that can give you peace when life’s storms knock you over.

It’s your turn.

Although I’ve never actually had the opportunity to try surfing, I left the beach this time with a greater appreciation for those who do. I’m thankful for the imagery that will remind me to strengthen my core, get back up when life knocks me down, choose my opportunities carefully, and stay connected as I journey. Have you ever tried surfing? If not, I’d still bet one of these important reminders resonates close to home for you. Which one are you working on? Comment and let me know – I’d love to hear from you. As for me, I’ve been working on choosing my opportunities carefully and staying connected.

If this post has encouraged you, please click to share with your friends. Thanks!

You might also enjoy: 3 Secrets an Ironman Taught Me About Perspective.