"Alright, after the picture, we are going to get an hour of rolling in...
Again, the ships start to disappear. I know sets are coming...I was only supposed to stay for two rounds of sparring.It’s been six."
Fingers are morphing into prunes. The skin feels like burnt leather as the zinc wears off. Just one more wave and I’ll call it a day.
I eat shit on the next three. I’m over the falls from bad timing on the first, the second closes out on me (bad selection) and the third has my feet sliding off like an ice skater because I didn’t re-wax my board.
I can’t end on a note like this...
“Alright, after the picture, we are going to get an hour of rolling in. Stay for as many rolls as you can,” Coach Ryan says.
I’m still pretty sore from the sunrise surf session this morning, but rolling with your buddy is just too tempting to pass up. I’ll stick around for two or three rolls, then I have to shoot home to finish editing some videos.
My first roll goes smoothly, but during the second, I get close to falling into a bow and arrow choke.
I can’t end the night of training like that. I’ll stay for one more roll.
My next roll goes awesome. Crucifix from turtle to cross collar-choke, kimura trap from side control to armbar finish; scissoring my partner’s legs from side control to finish with a kneebar (my first time hitting that submission)...
I see the ships towards the horizon start to disappear and I know that the next round of sets are heading in.
I paddle out, pop up and turn before the wave closes out on me. I’m stoked with the wave and crave another one. I do some math in my head and convince myself I can still make the ferry back into the city to get to work on time.
The next wave comes and I fall. Hard.
I can’t end that way...
I was only supposed to stay for two rounds of sparring. It’s been six. I lean my body against the wall, and it replies instantly, ‘You stupid fucker.’
I can feel each bump from the day and I’m starting to think I should have stuck to my original game plan and left early. I put my body through a lot today...
It’s been three more failed wave attempts. Again, the ships start to disappear. I know sets are coming.This is my last shot to end on a good note, so my plan is to put all my energy into this next paddle.
I start to feel myself rise up on the wave. I pop up and go back side. I’m flying horizontally down the right side of the wave. I see an exposed section and a chance to pop my right hip out. I hit the section with everything I have and let off a rainbow-like spray of water. It was worth the wait and the sandbar beatings...
The sweat is falling down and mixing in with the wounds on my stomach from my skin rubbing against my board. Everyone has a partner, and then I hear my name.
“Rome, are you free for one more roll?” the new blue belt asks.
I do some quick math in my head about making it back home to finish my editing with enough time to get into bed to wake up and catch the morning surf again.
“Yeah, I can do one more roll.”