July: A (Hard) Lesson in Gratitude

July has been a game changer month for me. It has been an eye opening month, it has been a teachable month, and it has been a month where I fully appreciate the opportunities that I am given. 

The first week of July, we came down to Tybee Island, Georgia. I was so excited to see my best friend and other really close friends, and of course to surf.  Surfing Tybee is so different compared to California: a smaller place, smaller crowds to surf in, and smaller waves to surf. But I love it!  The waves are usually small at so anytime there is swell predicted we all get excited.   And there was swell coming our way!!  I was so stoked!  What a great start to our time on Tybee!   I surfed all day long with all of my friends for two solid days. It was awesome to surf the first swell of the season!

 First summer swell on Tybee Island GA

First summer swell on Tybee Island GA

That next week, we had a week of surfing and chilling all day long. We hung out with friends and went to different parts of the island in search of waves. We also swam in the creeks/marshes that were there in our friends' backyard. Memories were made, nonetheless. 

 Helping push surfers in on waves at YMCA surf camp. 

Helping push surfers in on waves at YMCA surf camp. 

The third week of July was a special week for our family: surf camp, a birthday, and a surf contest. Surf Camp was all that week. I was able to volunteer with a great group that was super stoked about surfing and were really quick learners. We didn't go to surf camp that Friday because it was my younger sister Sadie's birthday. For her birthday, we went to Shark Tooth Island with some friends and family. We collected over 200 shark teeth! That night, we went to Skate Night at the YMCA.  It was so much fun to be able to skate and play tag!

July 19 was the first contest of the season. The contest was postponed until the next day but there were still small waves to surf.  I was pumped to surf--contest or no contest!  Going out into the water, I jumped off my board wrong and twisted my ankle in the process.  I was in pain and I was bummed!  There would be no surfing for me that day!  The next day, a Sunday, was the first comp of the season. I could barely stand on my foot  and was unable to surf so I had to receive last place points.  Even though I wasn't able to surf, I was able to help judge and learned a lot in the process of listening to what the judges were scoring and why.  

 Having a cast gives new meaning to surf "lay days".....

Having a cast gives new meaning to surf "lay days".....

After injuring my ankle over the weekend, my mom was able to get me in to the orthopedic.  It turned out I not only twisted my ankle, but I had a third degree sprain to the ligaments on both sides of my left ankle.  On July 21, I got a full fledged cast on my foot to immobilize it!  It wasn't going to be very fun to hobble down to the beach for 10 days and sit there watching everybody else surf and have fun.  This was NOT the summer I had anticipated!  

On July 31, I got my cast off. When I went to get it off, my best friend came with me. Oh the things that best friends do for each other. Even though I hated every second in that cast, it was really important. Not only could I actually walk on my foot in the cast, it was an eye opening experience for me and taught me some lessons. I realized that I shouldn't take my time at the beach for the summer for granted and that I need to appreciate the opportunities that I am blessed with. Also, because I watched everybody surf I watched my competition and made mental notes of what I can work on when I get to surf again. 

July really has been an interesting month. I don't want summer to end, I don't want to not be able to surf, and I don't want to leave my best friend. But, it really makes me appreciate the time I have here that God has blessed me with. I fully appreciate everything that I have. This summer really has blown by fast, but it will contain memories and lessons that last forever.