Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Water sports

I've always loved water sports. Swimming is the only sport I hold "bragging rights" over all my buddies back home. :) I actually learned to swim when I was still a baby. My mother took me and my brothers to a swim school for toddlers and the first day they just threw us all in the pool and it was either "sink or swim". Fortunately we all learned how to swim pretty fast! We were also lucky to live right next door to my Aunt Lila and Uncle Jack and have the use of their swimming pool every day in the summer. In high school, I started out playing football, basketball and soccer but by varsity (junior and senior years), I only did swimming and water polo. Even now I still try to go for a swim once a month or so. We live about one minute from a nice outdoor-pool (Miyukinohama) that uses the sea water and is located right next to the beach. But it's only open from mid-July til the end of August.

I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley which is a couple hours from the nearest surf. When I went down south to Long Beach State University I thought I'd become a "surfer dude". Well, I wore the clothes and even picked up a used board at a garage sale for $20 bucks. Next, me and my buddy Darrell signed up for Surfing as a P.E. (physical education) class. I was all set to start my career as a surfer. Darrell claimed he was already a "surfer dude" but to tell the truth, I never really got to see him surf because the whole 4 months, we probably only went into the water 4 times! You see, the class started at 6:00 in the morning. We probably only made it to class about 10 times. And usually "Hello Kitty" AKA Darrell was too cold to go in the water so we'd just sign our names that we were there and then drive home. Recently Aki had been saying how she wanted to learn to surf. So last week we took a lesson in Shonan near Enoshima. It was her very first time and she was surfing by the end of the lesson. But because the cameraman (me) was so bad, there is no proof. Luckily for me because of the good camerawoman (Aki), there's a shot of me standing, haha!

How many of you have heard of the new adventure sport "Canyoning"? Just last month, Aki and I tried it. Canyoning has been gaining popularity since the 1990s; it's a combination of hiking, jumping and sliding down waterfalls or a wet slot canyon. I have to admit although I was very "gung ho" to begin with, I got goose bumps all over right before taking my first slide. It was quite an exhilarating feeling sliding down at what seems like "sonic" speed and splashing into the cold water below. From there, you dog-paddle, climb over a few rocks and then arrive at your next challenge! All I can say is that I'm glad I did it now because in a few years I doubt my body can handle all the banging. :) Check Canyons homepage: