Back in the 1980s, in my early 20s, I chose to take up surfing because it seemed really cool, I loved the ocean, and thought the girls would dig it.

I didn’t think it would be too difficult since I was a competitive swimmer and former water polo player. So, I borrowed a friend’s board and headed out to Galveston seawall along pier 39.

Before I dove into the water, I watched the other surfers hoping to learn some tips and tricks. Feeling confident, I plunged in ready to show off my skills and be king of the waves.

Well, as you can imagine, it didn’t turn out the way it played in my head. With each crashing wave, I slipped, tumbled and choked on water. I couldn’t believe that “me” a strong swimmer was getting his butt kicked by the ocean.

But then it happened, I clumsily rode my first wave along the shore. The feeling of accomplishment to conquer and tame the ocean was addictive. At that moment, surfing became my passion for years.

Within a short time, I became a seasoned surfer learning the importance of waxing for grip, the difference between long and short boards, and to hang-10 under a rip-curl.

How many can relate other moments in life similar to my surfing experience? Remember the feeling of your first birdie or parring a hole, riding a wheely on your bicycle, first home run, or hitting a 3-pointer?

From all the examples I listed above, how many times to did you crash and burn before accomplishing any feats?

For all you sales people, how many times did the gate keepers prevent you from meeting with the top brass? But with persistence and creativity, you found a way to land the business.

A hundred doors of opportunity might slam in your face, but all it takes is one big break to change your life. Remember, your biggest successes came from multiple failures. If you want it, never ever give up because with persistence, you’ll learn to ride the waves.

By the way, happy birthday to the most amazing lady — Eileen Tepera. You’re the best mom a son could ask for, and I love you.

Until next week, keep moving and improving.

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