It is time to practice Brazilian ballet.
A spectre is haunting modern mankind – the spectre of a full blown, lifelong acceptance, love even, of intermediacy. All the surf powers of old Europe and new Europe, of America and Australia, even South Africa and probably Costa Rica have entered into a holy alliance to enforce this spectre: The Inertia, Electric Surfboard Acid Tests, softops, Costco.
It’s now completely chill to be perpetually ok. To be ok with being perpetually ok.
“Best surfer in the water is the one having most fun” etc.
Ah, but the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of greatness.
Woman and man refusing average and striving for actual best. Pushing, pushing, pushing to be better every single day and eventually iconic.
Joan of Arc.
What happened to us?
Maybe we all just need WHOOP straps.
For I was, myself, was until recently a full-blown acceptor of mediocrity, accidentally, having slipped into a non-aggressive routine. A laziness both mental and physical had taken hold. I’d paddle out, catch a few waves, wander home to poke Kelly Slater in the digital eye, wash the sunset down with a cocktail, rinse, repeat but a few precious months ago my life partner Derek Reilly told me to get on the program, to jiujitsu, and to strap a WHOOP around my wrist. He had fallen head over heels in love with chokes, arm bars, pretzeled limbs etc. and also fallen in love with measuring his physical progress, mastering his domain, learning how to better himself through high-tech insight and I became enraged.
First, I did not want to jiujitsu. I did not like the aesthetic, men sprawled on the ground and clammy. Men wearing pajamas. I did not like the word “rolling” or the phrase “hit the mats.”
Second, I did not want a WHOOP strap. I did not want to be told how hard to train or how to sleep by a sleek modern appliance nor did I feel the need for guidance due a natural genetic skinniness.
I was ok.
A funny thing happened on the way to ballet, though. My young daughter loves the French, Italian, Russian art with singular passion, is enrolled in a fine academy and attends hours a day five to six to seven days a week pirouetting, rond de jombe-ing, tendu-ing. One evening, as I watched her toil under the yoke of a powerful and uncompromising master, who regularly got in her face and ordered her to “be allergic to average,” my heart stirred within me. My young daughter had, in fact, become allergic to average, was striving to be the absolute best ballerina the world has ever seen, was putting the hard work in daily while I was what? Merely enjoying the journey of trying to be funny?
I looked at my wrist, already wrapped in stylish black, since Derek Rielly had sent and I didn’t want to hurt feelings, logged onto my phone’s WHOOP application, saw “Day Strain 5.2” and wept.
Day Strain 5.2 was David Lee Scales adjacent.
And it was at that very moment that I purposed, in my heart, to strive for greatness again. To be a good example to my daughter and all children everywhere, David Lee Scales’ children too. To do the Brazilian ballet, as Derek Rielly had instructed, but also learn to kick, to punch, to block, to throw.
To then challenge my erstwhile nemesis to the greatest trilogy in fight history.
Smith vs. Goggans III.
A physical and mental masterpiece for which to endeavor.
But first I must train and train smart.