We live in a “go, go, go” society where slowing down and enjoying our natural world, not to mention just being alone with our thoughts, is short-lived. Gyms, guided workouts, and glistening indoor facilities are available on every corner. Therefore our needs for an exercise “quick fix” make it easy for us to disregard the natural world right outside our door. So what is one of the best sports/hobbies to practice that re-connects a person with the energy of the ocean and natural world, and also provides physical and mental health? The art and lifestyle of surfing. Surfing is not something that can be easily compartmentalized as a “sport” like basketball or gymnastics, for instance, and once a person rides their first wave, they certainly understand why. It is also not something that one can write off flippantly as “just a hobby.” Surfing can literally change one’s outlook on life, because it instills a connection with the tides, weather, winds and conditions. It also takes physical strength and prowess to safely push one’s boundaries in the ever-changing environment of the ocean. This is why serious surfers tend to be mentally and physically quite resilient. Whether it’s braving the frigid early morning breezes or hiking an hour to a remote location to find the best waves, surfers tend to know and push their limits and ultimately live quite invigorating lives because of it. Look at the top professionals in the sport, like Sally Fitzgibbons or Kelly Slater, and you will see how serious they take their own health and wellness. As a surfer, it is hard not to be your best physically and mentally. The ocean is a serious and magnificent stomping ground and only those who truly take it seriously will excel and reap the long list of life-changing benefits.