What a great essay. Thanks for this, Bowen! It reminds me a little of my relationship to intense yoga. I don’t want to do it any more because it hurts my body. This morning in a gentle yoga class I thought “maybe I should push myself harder” but this essay reminds me why I don’t, and that it’s a wiser choice for me at age 44 to move more intentionally, do what I can to avoid injury, and focus on the rewards beyond flexible hamstrings.

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“I could feel every ethereal thread of a crisp northwest wind lashing down over the Marin headlands, its muscular sway and thrust compressed by the rocky gap spanned by the bridge to meet me there and press itself against the wing-like sail. Racing across the water I was aware of my tiny form set against the massive scale of the bridge, my hands miraculously able to tap into the mighty force of the wind, itself of an infinite scale even larger than any human construction.”

Even though I’ve never been to San Francisco, I felt like I was foiling out there while reading this description.

Extreme sports have always played a significant role in my life. A way to get a rush without getting into trouble (usually). I recently got into foil surfing and downwinding (well, attempting to downwind foil).

It’s falling in love with surfing all over again, but without the frustration of not having sufficient waves where I live. I’ve often chosen travel dentitions based on the surf, and then returned home wondering why I’m not living near some world-class surf beach. Now, with the foil, I can get out there every day, in conditions many people stay away from. The only thing that bothers me about the sport, is the price. Unlike surfing, it’s only for those with some disposable income. I don’t know if the culture around foiling will ever feel as diverse as surfing and trigger as many life-changing stories.

What do you think?

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Damn this is good! I will reread it many times. The nuanced shifting throughout your life and now the ability to recognize what may no longer be serving you in the same way. The maturity (from decades of hard growth I'm sure) to question what it brought you and where you are now...well done.

What seems to happen to me most often is I get the premonition but rarely clarity. I am going to pause and question it as you did. Rather than a fleeting thought that disperses into the ethers I am going to intentionally discern in hopes of gaining information.

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