Every morning I wake up, snooze my alarm, and go back to sleep. It may not be the most disciplined of routines, but it’s a routine nonetheless
After starting out my day by deciding to not start my day, I stumble into the kitchen, make some coffee, turn on the news, and give the Internet a good sift through. If there’s time, if I’m up extra early, or if I know there’re waves, I’ll go surfing.
Notice how many “if”s were in that sentence? Far too many for anyone who considers themselves a devout surfer. If seventh-grade me saw how much I surf now, he’d probably call me washed up and steal my lunch money.
Routines, by definition, are regular occurrences – everyday by some standards. I probably surf about four to five times a week, on the weekends mostly, but definitely not everyday – and I’m fine with it. Dale Webster, on the other hand, wouldn’t be. That’s because he just surfed 14,642 days consecutively and, on October 5th, ended his streak of just north of forty years. Now that’s a fucking routine. But as respectable as it is (of which I would consider it “very”), I find the word crazy entangling itself into my opinion the more I think about it.
Now, I’ll give Big D every ounce of credit where credit is due. To do anything 14,642 times in a row is a feat in itself. Hell, I haven’t even been alive for that many days. And so Dale, credit – but you miiiiight be a little crazy.
Not crazy in a talking to light poles or eating everything except the crust on a slice of pizza kind of way, but just crazy enough. Because nobody in his or her right mind would ever do, or could’ve done, what you just did. I know for a fact there were days when it was freezing cold, raining, 1ft, howling onshore and absolutely horrendous. Days where even a twelve year old with a brand new surfboard would’ve said, “Eh, I can just try it out tomorrow Mom.” I know there were days like these, probably many of them. And so I change my proposition to a statement – I know you’re crazy.
But my father is also crazy. And on July 30th, 2011 he started a similar streak that lasted him for the next four years – not quite as large a slice of dedication pie, but still quite filling. Every morning he’d head to the Manhattan Beach Pier (one of the most underwhelming waves in California), get his three waves, and head straight to work – rain or shine. There was never a conscious end game for his streak, he just always said that it was a better day when he surfed, so why not do it everyday? And he did – which always made perfect sense on paper.
So I call you crazy, Dale, just as I did my dad when he’d head to the beach on those disgusting days I described above to tick the boxes of this self-inflicted regimen.
My dad is a great man. In fact, one of the happiest little creatures you will ever cross paths with. Although I’ve never met you personally, Mr. Webster, you portray a similar character. And I assure you that the dedication, ambition, and all around passion that go into a streak like yours, and my father’s, are constant driving forces in the back of my head, kicking my laziness in the shins and telling me to get off my ass.
Let it be known that crazy isn’t always a bad thing. Crazy can be inspiring. Crazy can be persevering. Crazy can be what wakes you from a deep, mid-alarm snooze on the ugliest of dawns. It’s what grabs us by the wrist and leads us to do unruly things like surf four, or even forty years in a row. I’m young, twenty-three to be exact, and I hope that one day I can be just as crazy as you old fucks. –Dayton Silva