If there is a book title that’s appropriate considering the author, it’s this one:
“Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul, and, of course, Surfing.”
And the author? Laird Hamilton.
This book was a gift from a friend shortly after I moved to Kauai nearly six years ago. As expected from someone like Laird Hamilton, it’s a no-nonsense approach. You get some advice, some inspiration, some encouragement, some motivation, and a plan. And then, you are urged to take action. Don’t just read this book. Let it change who you are and what you do, for the better.
Hamilton is a world- famous surfer and waterman, and he didn’t get there by being cautious, timid or fearful. He got there by being adventurous, outgoing and courageous. He pushes himself to the limits and in this book he is calling on us to do the same thing. Test ourselves. Reach. Push. Strive. In mind, body and soul.
In his 242-page book he writes of his experiences, his training, people who have helped him and his family. He is careful about his diet, which he outlines. But he isn’t all work and no play. In fact, he loves to play. He loves to have fun. He loves to explore. And rest is essential.
Not everyone is as physically strong as Hamilton. And not everyone is as disciplined. And not everyone is as successful in both his professional and family life. But we can, as he says, certainly try. We can always see what else we’re capable of — if we can just toss aside the fear and doubt.
But why can’t we just be satisfied and happy with where we are? Well, we can be. But Hamilton puts it best when explaining why we might want to, some day, take a chance, remember what lightens our steps, and follow our hearts:
“Our days are meant to be fun. Once you lose that thread, I think you’ve just lost the essence of the whole deal. If you build up a wealth of experiences, letting yourself be amazed by everything and everyone around you, then fun and its close relative, joy, will be the inevitable by-products. The last thing you want to do is to look back at the end and think coulda, woulda, shoulda.”
“The idea is to become an old wizard; to live a long, fruitful life and have family and be healthy and enjoy the ride. And speaking of the ride, why not let it rip, at least a little bit?”
Yes, let it rip. That sounds good. And it’s even better if you really do it.
Bill Buley, editor-in chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.