Life’s a wave. Catch it.

I gritted my teeth in the cold wind as I changed from my warm sweater into a rather cold wetsuit. I was on an adventure to try new things. Or at least that’s what I kept telling myself.

A wet suit wasn’t a new thing for me, I love the water, but the surfboard in my arms was a bit of a new development. I spent the weekend at a surf camp trying to balance on a floating board. It might not have been something completely out of my comfort zone, like skydiving, but it was one of the most incredible experiences of my trip this far.

Nobody thought I was going to stand up on that board. Not even me. But that’s what made me so determined (and so excited when I did). It was exhilarating to find my balance, ride the wave into shore, and prove myself wrong. It made me realize that my mom was right; you can do anything you set your mind to.

My surfing adventure taught me that you have to focus on what’s next. The same is true in life: you can’t dwell on the bad moments, you have to stay positive and keep looking forward—otherwise that next wave will knock you off your feet. When you look back on it, you won’t think about the 100 times you fell, but instead you’ll think of when you caught that one perfect wave.

Surfing also taught me that, as with all things in life, hard work pays off. You can’t catch a wave by staring at it. You want a good job, a fancy house, a life full of vacations? Then go get it. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish with a good attitude and a little hard work.