2006 Mavs Journel

Reality Check!

14 Weeks ago I was desperately trying to get an emergency flight back from Northern Chile to the UK for emergency surgery, after I broke my Patella-kneecap into about five pieces, tow surfing before a surf event in remote South America. Three screws, a whole lot of wire, six weeks in a cast and an 8-12 month full recovery prognosis and rumours soon started circulating about me never being able to surf again….

Yeah, right…not if I can help it!  I’d been planning this winter surf trip back to Northern California & Hawaii for years.  Was this bad experience going to end all the hard work put in to achieve another dream?

Firstly, there is no such thing as a bad experience in life, as they are all just very valuable  life lessons.

Secondly, life is unpredictable and doesn’t often go according to plan.  You have to be versatile in this unpredictable, volatile world we live in and be willing to bend your plans around life, to still achieve your goals.

And thirdly, no matter what adversity we face, if you truly put your mind toward the healing process, solely believe it’s possible & you remain focussed & determined on achieving your goals & dreams, everything is possible!

Ten weeks ago I came out of plaster cast….I postponed my trip by three weeks, until the end of  November and the re-hab began.

One week later I was teaching a Jet Ski rescue course, definitely not doctors orders, but we must push our bodies to heal.

A week after that, I went surfing for the first time, not being able to bend my knee enough to stand up and it truly was like learning to surf from scratch again.

A week later I saw my surgeon before I flew out to Northern California…

His words were, “You should be able to look at possibly surfing in about 3-6 months from now my friend, just don’t push it”

My response was” So does that mean longboarding yesterday and this morning was a bad thing?”

Clearly not the response I think he was expecting!

The following day my girlfriend is driving me up to Heathrow to fly out.

Two days later I am Tow surfing “Mavericks”, possibly the heaviest big wave spot on the planet, with legendary surf icon Jeff Clark.

The following day I am paddling Mavericks with local guru, “Grant Washburn.”

A couple days later I am in Hawaii surfing Wiamea @ 12 ft solid, in one of the most beautiful, idyllic locations on the planet, after watching the opening ceremony of the most prestigious & spiritual Big Wave event on the planet. The Quiksilver Eddie Aukai Invitational.

Two days later I am driving up to Oregon, in the US, with Jeff Clark, to compete in the biggest Invitational only, Tow Surfing event on the globe, with expected 40ft surf.

We compete against the worlds best and end up missing the final by a mere, one point, in huge, flawless, perfect, clean, surf.

That night we celebrate so hard, with many of my childhood surf heroes, I wake up in the morning with no wallet and 250 dollars worth of Casino chips, in my jeans pocket.

On the drive back down we are interviewed on, the Extreme radio channel, that’s broadcast during prime time, nationally.

We end up having lunch on the way down South with big wave surfing icon and legend, Greg, ‘the Bull’ Noll, one of my personal hero’s and his wife at their most amazing house on the river in the Red wood national reserve.

Two days later I get Tonsillitis from hell, four days in bed and 400 dollars on Anti biotics and Doctor’s appointments…

I recovered just in time to catch the next solid swell to hit Mavericks, which we charged all day long. Big, glassy and perfect.Bliss!

That afternoon, a good friend I was surfing with, found out via email that his best friend had just been killed in a car accident…. breaking down in tears, beside me and life caries on undeterred, not skipping a beat

And that takes me to almost a week ago and a 48 hour break before the next big swell hits on Christmas, so I jumped in my rent a car and drove 10 hours to arrive in Las Vegas late in the night, but who cares, this is Vegas baby, the city that never sleeps…. The place of bright lights, dreams and slot machines…

The next day, I’m driving back to San Francisco to fly out to Maui, to go and Tow surf the legendary big wave behethon, “Jaws.”

So, today, after just windsurfing a world renowned big wave sailing spot, I sit here, sipping a Starbucks, soy latte, reminiscing, surfing one of the heaviest waves on the planet, alongside, Laird Hamilton & Brian Kalama and his 3 helicopter ante rage of film crews, hovering above, capturing every moment…and generally just reflecting on everything that has been going on, sights seen, friends made and dreams achieved over the last four weeks and the last couple of years…

Awaiting yet another flight, back to the mainland to follow another monster swell at Mavericks and possibly chase it down to another big wave spot in northern Mexico and I ‘m wondering what it’s all really about as I write this mini journal to you… Not to tell you what I have done and where I have been, as yet another year draws to a close, but more importantly what are we doing, what are we not doing with our oh, so precious time.

Time and life slips by so seamlessly quickly these days…It’s there, then it’s gone and what do we have to show for it…. often, so little…

We work too much and love, laugh and travel too little…

Take nothing for granted, people places and all the little things.

Love, laugh, smile & give a little more…it doesn’t have to be much, often so little means so much.

Postpone nothing, be more spontaneous, spoil someone you know for no apparent reason and take a trip somewhere you have been meaning to go far way too long.

It doesn’t have to be far, it just has to be away…. Rest your mind, feed your soul and rest your weary bones…why, because we all deserve it!

Live your life with the courage. The courage to step out of the box, your comfort zone and try new things…

There is no such thing as failure in life, only not having the courage to try!

The greatest sin in life is to die, knowing that you never truely lived…Passing on with a mind full of regrets of what never was, what you never did, places you didn’t go, things you didn’t say, goals never achieved and dreams never realised, is possibly the saddest thing to ever experience.

Wherever your dreams are, hunt & chase them down, fight for them, follow them…live them!

Because if you truly believe… all is possible!

In this New Year I wish you all, above everything else, the ability to live the rest of your days with the courage..The courage to try, because you never know unless you go!

Dream it

See it

Believe it

Achieve it.

All the best for an amazing 2007!


Chris Bertish



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