"The Way You Don't Die, Sir"
Ask most folk the goal of a surfing lessons and they’ll say, “Stand up, ride a wave, have fun...” Ask a member of The Association of Mexican Surf Instructors (AMISURF) of Puerto Escondido and they’ll tell you:
Safety is the most important element in a lesson. Period.
It’s dark outside. Normally a time for the Surf Instructors to rest after hours in the sun. But they’re still working on their craft, late into the night, like good teachers do.
This is a Red Cross First Aide Safety Course, one of several courses necessary to become a certified member of the Association. It’s the most important one.
The course was given by the Red Cross, Puerto Escondido and passing wasn’t a gimme.
The Red Cross Instructor was like a Drill Sergeant and equally as scary. The room grew uncomfortable a bunch of times when the Instructor grilled someone on a particular point.
He had me looking at my feet and I wasn’t the only one.
At one point in the night when he was explaining the proper technique to stabilize a neck and clear an airway he looked up and said, “So who here has seen someone die. You know, when they’re taking that last breathe and they gasp? Nobody?” I turned to look at the room and not a single hand went up.
And I looked into his eyes and thought, “Just you brother.” And I felt a flood of compassion for the man inside the blue jumper... with his white bib, bearing the red cross over his center.
The room was silent and he stared at everyone and let that silence fill us.
He wasn’t trying to scare us, he was speaking from the heart as a man who has risked his life (not his point but still true) and had someone die in his arms.
And everyone in the room felt the Professional Responsibility of what it means to be a Surf Instructor.
That although getting up on the board is fun, there is a risk every time a person steps into the water.
Keeping people safe in the water is why the Waterman Community organized AMISURF.
It’s dark outside and the Surf Instructors of AMISURF are working to keep everyone safe in the water the next day in Puerto Escondido, Mexico.
#puertoescondido #surfingparadise #jpmwrites #mexpipe #amisurf