Monday, July 11th 2011

To Lead By Example You Lead By Living

Today I share some of my personal life with you... Why? ...Because I know some of what I share here will inspire and empower you in some way or form... It will fuel your motivation to 'LIVE to the MAX'... In your own special way. In 1999 I moved from New York to Florida. To get away from the cold & snow - and to be in warm sunny weather (most of the year) AND to be near the ocean. Since being down here - the beach has become our # 1 favorite place to be on the weekends. When I have the kids - they don't even have to ask, they just know it's beach-time. And when I'm solo - I'm usually at the beach, especially now - since I started surfing a few months ago... Which is the focal point of today's post... I always enjoyed watching surfers. I NEVER knew how physically demanding it is, nor how challenging it is. And more importantly - I had no idea how much fun it can be and how rewarding it is for the soul... So, I never considered trying it. I don't know if I sub-consciously assumed it was too late for me to learn, or maybe I wouldn't enjoy it.. I don't know... But about 4 or 5 months ago - I started getting these little "hints, signs and nudges". Messages from my surroundings fueling my curiosity to see what it feels like to surf. - I was talking to a soccer dad at one of Darah's games - and we end up on the topic of surfing and how much he loves surfing the beaches in our area... - One day, at the beach, while eating my lunch - a surfer couple sat about 10 yards in front of me and they started stretching and preparing to hit the waves... - Another day, while at the beach with the kids - and watching some surfers, my two older ones said something along the lines of "How come you don't surf?" or "I'm surprised you don't surf.".. I don't remember their exact words - but they added to the mix for sure. IMPORTANT NOTE: as all of this is unfolding (above) - keep in mind NONE of my kids had ever touched a surfboard. None of them had ever surfed. There are some other ingredients here which played a BIG role in me finally following this voice inside me - to give surfing a try. I will share those in the future as they will take us down a whole new path of 'Living to the Max'. So, I wanted to start this journey properly... And the only way to do that was with a veteran instructor, a master surfer. I already happened to know one - as the guy who edited most of my early dvds back in 2005/06 - is also a top-notch surfer and an awesome teacher, Mitch Kaufmann
[caption id="attachment_476" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Joey and Master Mitch"]Joey and Master Mitch[/caption]
Mitch promised he'd have me surfing in 20 minutes. He was wrong... He had me surfing in about 4 minutes!!!!! See that smile on my face in the photo below? (btw - BIG complements to my son, JoJo for taking the pictures on my first surf outing). ...that smile is more than me just having fun.... there's a lot that smile represents. To put the photo into perspective - I had just ridden a pretty long wave and JoJo took the shot as I came in and the wave was dying out. PERFECT.
[caption id="attachment_467" align="alignnone" width="220" caption="Joey's First Surf"]Joey's First Surf[/caption]
This is where things get good.. REALLY GOOD... When JoJo, Alexa and Darah saw me doing this - saw how much I loved it, saw and felt the fun... THEY WANTED THE SAME... Fast forward a few weeks and I hit the beach with JoJo. He's 15, very athletic and will try anything. We go out on a pretty rough day - a challenging day to try surfing for the first time. But - after seeing me get out there. He has no fear. He goes... He fights to get out there - the waters are choppy and stirring. The current is giving a strong pull north. He's working hard - realizing the challenge. He gets tossed a few times. But doesn't give up - he gets even more determined... After a just a few tries - BOOM - he's up and surfing... With the same smile you see in my photo above. We look at each other with fist pumps and thumbs up. AWESOME in many ways.. (I don't have pics of him surfing yet but will have some later in the summer - when we get back from our New York trip). Next - it's Alexa's turn. She's 13 and ready to try just about anything. So, I take her and Darah to the beach - with my surfboard. Two of Alexa's friends meet up with us there. They ask if they can take the surfboard to the water, etc.. I say, "of course"... and I give Alexa a few pointers and then I just watch from the shore. Jackie and Emma (Alexa's 2 friends) hold the board steady (they are in chest high water at the time). Alexa gets on the board. She knows to hop up when the wave starts pushing the board. A sweet wave comes, Jackie and Emma give the board a little push... ... and UP SHE POPS!!! First time ever!!! Check her out:
[caption id="attachment_468" align="alignnone" width="230" caption="Alexa's First Surf"]Alexa's First Surf[/caption]
I was very excited to see JoJo up on the board, as I expected it would be somewhat easy for him to do. BUT, I'll admit - I was SUPER excited to see my 'Lex' scorching the ocean on her first try. So, that's 2 - and 1 more to go... Next it's Darah's turn. She's almost 7. VERY high energy and fearless spirit. She LOVES the ocean and can play in the waters for hours on end... I get her a 7-foot, soft-top board (safer for kids to learn on). I bring her out. I hold the board. She gets on - gets her balance without holding onto me... And then...
[caption id="attachment_479" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Darah's First Surf"]Darah's First Surf[/caption]
...a perfect wave comes in - I give the board a little push and BOOM - she's cruising as if she had done this 100 times!!! Truth be told - this photo is actually Darah's second time out as her first time was a week before and I didn't think of asking anyone to take a few pictures for us. BUT - she was doing perfectly right from the start!!
[caption id="attachment_469" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Darah's First Surf"]Darah's First Surf[/caption]
So WHY AM I SHARING ALL THIS WITH YOU? At age 41 - I decide to start surfing. ('LIVE to the MAX') ...my kids feel the enjoyment and see the fun I'm having. And without pushing any of them - they all wanted to do it too. And are all doing it now!!! ...Knowing they are all starting young is an incredible feeling. They have so many years of surfing fun ahead of them. And so do I... I'll be sure to share some of our adventures with you in the months and years to come. I share this all with you in hopes of possibly sparking something inside you - to take your life to another level or simply add a new dimension to it. Not just for you - but for those around you. Those closest to you. That is how you lead by example - that is how you lead by LIVING. I hope you enjoyed this post as a lot of time and energy have gone into it. I would love to hear your thoughts, your comments and even your story which may be similar to mine above. Feel free to share all you wish in the comment section below. And PLEASE feel free to share this with anyone you know who will appreciate it. That would mean a lot to me. Your trainer forever - your trainer for life, -- Joey Atlas

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Nehal! – your words mean a lot to me. Thanks for reading and posting here.
    Joey

  • Anonymous

    Go Joygen!!! Have fun!
    Joey

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Fred. Great thoughts here! Much appreciated.
    Best
    Joey

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Joy!
    Blessings to you, too.
    Joey

  • Anonymous

    Great stuff, Tom! thanks for sharing that – and so glad you guys are mixing some of my moves into yours. Keep at it!!
    Joey

  • Anonymous

    Go for it, Wanda!! Keep us posted on the skydive!!
    Joey

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Patricia!
    Many blessings to you!
    Joey

  • Anonymous

    Ahh – very nice, Wanda. Keep doing what you’re doing!!
    Joey

  • Anonymous

    Go Lilac!!
    Joey

  • Vinutha selvaraj

    Hi Joey! that s an inspirational story.only a few people in todays world would think of doing something good to fellow humans..ur posts have always been a motivation for me..thanks for sending the training tips and exercises.i throughly enjoy it.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the great comments Vinutha!! And thank you for being here!

    Keep at it,

    Joey 

  • Helene Pearce

    How genius of you all to pick it up so quickly – so totally admirable just exactly what can be achieved with the right willpower, mindset and sheer determination – many congratulations!

  • Anonymous

    lol… Thanks, Helene! ok – we’ll say 50% genius and 50% luck!!
    Hope all is well!
    Joey

  • Thank you for sharing Joey… It is truly an inspirational story and a reminder to enjoy life to the fullest every day.  We can do anything we put our minds to.  Thank you.  Kind regards – Vanessa Bader

  • Anonymous

    You’re welcome, Vanessa! ..spread the word 🙂
    Joey