It's a rainy Saturday morning, and I'm home alone. The hubby is out of town for the weekend, and I have a flexible schedule to clean the house, work on my presentations for upcoming workshops, and practice yoga at my leisure (between walks with the dog, of course).
In this quiet space, I decided to watch Chasing Mavericks. This inspirational movie not only has jaw-dropping footage of big wave surfing, but it has this incredible message:
Follow your dreams.
Now the young Jay Moriarty, a high-schooler at the time, wanted to surf the big break of Mavericks. While he was a talented surfer, well-known around Santa Cruz, his desires were far bigger than many of his peers. With the help of friend and mentor, Frosty, Jay works rigorously around his high school workload and job at Pleasure Pizza to train. He spends hours paddling. He works to extend the amount of time he can hold his breath under water--surpassing the 4 minute mark, which is astonishing to me! And, he learns to observe the currents and waves to better navigate his journey into treacherous water.
Side note here, Gerard Butler was temporarily hospitalized after shooting a scene for this movie. They were in the water at Mavericks when an outside set caught the group inside. Gerard took 3-4 giant waves to the head, getting pushed back inside and underwater before getting rescued.
So back to the theme of this story--following your dreams with passion. Jay did end up surfing the Mavericks surf break at the young age of 15, with all of his courage, grace, and skill carrying him through.
I'm inspired by Jay because there are times in life when it feels like we are facing giants... giant decisions, big fears, or even huge changes that seem insurmountable from where we're standing. I know that is definitely true for me right now. There are lots of variables in my life, and some big decisions are going to be made in the next few months that set the course for many years to come.
But, like Jay, I find strength in my passions. He was motivated by his love for the ocean. I'm fueled by my deep connection to my yoga practice. He made decisions day in and day out that kept the bigger picture in mind. I'm doing the same by meditating, focusing on my strengths, and keeping my true priorities at the forefront of my mind. Jay appreciated life and had an incredible sense of hope and optimism. I, too, look for the best in each person and in each day I'm alive.
So, whether you go see this uplifting movie or not, how can you live like Jay today? What fears can you identify in your life, and just by acknowledging their presence, how can you use that fear to move you toward your bigger life purpose?
As Frosty says in the movie, fear in and of itself is not a bad thing. In fact, it can be a powerful motivator. Instead it's panic that gets surfers killed in those intense circumstances. While panic may not kill us, it can strongly deter us from reaching our goals.
I do want to mention a spoiler alert here. Jay passed away at the young age of 22 while free diving in the Maldives. But he lived his life to its fullest, and he has inspired me to do the same.