I am writing a song about all the shark sightings (and bitings) in Pismo and Morro Bay. It's called "The Sharky feeling." It's a Top 40 Radio Hit.
I have always believed that a person's ability to succeed is in direct proportion to their ability to be uncomfortable.
Everyone is afraid of something.
My fear began at 7 years old, on the Redondo Beach Pier, not far from the condo where we lived.
I walked into a junk shop.
Behind a black curtain, I found a full great white skeleton looking back at me, its teeth impossibly massive. It was dark, except for all of those big, white bones. The Jaws "da-da-da" sound played on a tape deck in the background.
I still shudder!
After a few years of freaking out in pools, baths, and showers, I decided to put an end to it. I was 12 and I was going to take a summer-long surfing class and rid myself of the pointless baggage.
I was by far the weakest swimmer and I even got caught in a rip tide. A big burly lifegaurd with a mustache had to rescue me, which was so embarassing at the time.
But I stood up for a few seconds, and it was pure power, baby.
I want to share this story for anyone who is feeling scared of something. I don't care what it is. BE SCARED, BUT DO IT ANYWAY. I still need to remember this every single day.
I want to free-fall from the stage, knowing that I might belly flop, face down for all see. To hell with it. As the stages continue to widenen, I step closer to the edge. The edge is where it's at.
The last thing I ever want in life is to feel comfortable. Happiness, yes, but comfortable? It's a trap.
At the edge, it's scary. But you can see people, your people. You can look into their eyes, fuel a connection, watch the transformation from passive bystander to partner in crime. That's where I want to be: toes dangling off the ledge...hovering just above the water.
A little secret between you and me: I'm still kind of wigged out about swimming at night at the Elks Lodge pool.