I quit


I teach middle schoolers, so I know what passes for love these days. They swap boyfriends and girlfriends as regularly as they shower, which, if the stench in my classroom is any indication, is maybe once a week. As soon as they enter into a new “relationship,” they’re professing their undying love for one another by way of text message. I know that this is not love.

My gal and me, now that’s love. It wasn’t what you’d call love at first sight; we spent a few months getting to know each other. It seemed like a summer fling at first, but I couldn’t get her out of my mind all that winter. By the following spring, we were reunited, and head-over-heels would be an understatement.

I built my life and my living around her, and we inhaled the sweet smell of success. All told, we racked up over a million bucks. The money is irrelevant, of course, a fringe benefit that I refused to let affect our bond. For 30 years we’ve ridden a wave of love, and our commitment has never wavered. I won’t speak for her, but I’m still smitten.

We don’t, you know, get it on as much as we used to, but that’s to be expected at this stage of our relationship. We used to go at it a few times a day. Now, it’s more like a few times a week on average. When we do, it’s as good as it ever was. And when we’re not together, I’m thinking about her. No matter what I’m doing, she never escapes my mind.

Which brings me to my present predicament. I’m finally ready to acknowledge the extent to which she has ruled my life. Every decision I’ve ever made was so I could be close to her, and the rest of my life has suffered. This relationship has defined me, causing me to miss out on countless opportunities. You might say she’s a bit of a control freak.

I’ve been wondering what might have been had we never met, and this introspection has brought me to a crossroads. I need to find out who I am. If I don’t get out now, I fear it’ll never happen. We’ll just wither away together and die.

So I’m ending it.

Not forever, I’m not ready to go that far. Call it a trial separation. For one year, all of 2014, I am turning my back on the sea. I will not get on a surfboard, I will not paddle out, nor will I ride a single wave. Surfing will have to exist without me.

After that, we’ll see what happens. I might come back, or I might not. Either way, I’ll take things one day at a time, and I’ll be the one calling the shots. Like Eminem said, “Imma take control of this relationship, command it, and imma be the boss of you now goddamnit.”

NOTE: Throughout 2014 this blog will chronicle my year without surfing. In addition, I will look back at events from my surfing life as well as provide more explanation about why I’m doing it. It’s been barely a few weeks so far, and I’m already cringing. Thanks for joining me in what promises to be an interesting ride.

19 thoughts on “I quit

  1. oh no..Jason say this is not true. If my wife gets wind of this kinda sabbatical happening its could be like a disease. surfing helps me physically, spiritually and emotionally.

  2. Mr. Jason Borte… I too am in your boat and due to some set backs that I have been struggling with; water time is not as frequent as it once was. And let me tell you…it is painful.

    I struggle with my past while watching event after event online. Why did I not train the way I should have. Take it serious enough.

    I struggle looking at pics of my friends whom are in the industry still and going on trips. Why them? Why not me?

    I struggle with my past.

    But the worst is not being in the water. Surfing gave me a gift and yes…controls my life at times. But surfing gave me a gift that people far from the ocean can never experience. That is a gift not worth tossing away.

    Good luck.

  3. Surfing constantly put me in the position of having to decide between what I should do and what I want to do. How many birthdays, mothers days, Easters did you skip to go surfing?

    • I agree Mike. Staring out at a windy, 40 degree sea is a good excuse to not enter the water. It is a lot harder to do in more temperate conditions.

      Well, temperate is more frequent in Florida compared to up north. It might be 5 months.

  4. cool pros,(the literary kind)…..been saying for years surfing ruined my life kinda with my tongue in cheek cause at the same time I know deep down it’s the best thing that ever happened to me! But my GOD the time we waste pursuing all things surf. just subscribed….

  5. I first heard you say, “You’re not the boss of me” when you were about three years old. I hope you can emerge as equal partners.

  6. Surf is not the only four letter word ending in “f”. My club dues in North Jersey embarrasingly exceed the family income requirement for food stamps. As you chase a wave, serenity, exhilaration or what ever the hell it is you chase sewed up in a clammy wetsuit some of us are looking to experience those same highs while battling imperfect swings, ugly lies and golf gods that just won’t let us rest.

    I may be at the other end of the spectrum…however I feel your pain…where could we have been if it had not been for these four letter words.

  7. Pingback: The ASP Comes Out Swinging: Womens Surfing Upgrade, Pulls Power Rankings; plus Jason Borte | DOWN THE LINE Surf Talk Radio

  8. Just happened upon your site from a FB link… I’ve heard about going dry for a month but a year is an epic commitment. Looking forward to reading the rest of the posts.

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