Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Molding Minds!!

This past week a couple of my good friends who run the Christian Surfers Chapter here approached me and asked if I would come and speak to the kids about being a professional surfer and all the temptation that comes with the job. I told them I was glad to do it, so this past friday night I went and hung out with them and told them a little bit about my story. Before I write anymore I want to paint a mental picture of the Beachside Church on friday night. I pull up to a closed parking lot, not because it is full of cars, but because their mobile skatepark is pulled out and there are over a hundred little groms just shredding the little mini ramps and rails, being cheered on by a bunch of cute little girls. If this alone is not enough to get you to come to church, I don't know what else is. Maybe the free pizza and drinks! When the kids finally settle down and the directors are able to round up the last out of the parking lot the inside of the church immediately looks like the inside of a skate/surfshop. With tons of boards laying all over the ground, new boards and skate accessories for sale, groms practicing tricks on the carpet in between pizza slices, skate video games blasting on the big screens, pretty much a little slice of heaven for any teen. This is what a church is supposed to feel like, inviting, a place where kids can come dressed as themselves, act the same as the normally do and not be judged for it. Its a pretty amazing thing the Beachside Ministry has going on!
I am just sitting in the back of the room with some of the kids I've previously known taking it all in. About this time the new Beachside band takes the stage and just starts rocking. The new lead singer of this band sounds like a cross between coldplay, and alkaline trio. He is a super gifted singer and he is backed up by two base players, an insane drummer, and a shredding electric guitarist. Needless to say Christian Music has evolved into something that is really worth listening to now...
After these guys pump up all the kids, a short video clip of me surfing begins to play from the projectors. I take the stage and mic and with the help of my good friend and Christian Surf director Jason, begin to talk a little bit about myself. I wanted to relay the fact that whatever path your life takes you down, being a christian and having faith in God will make it all so much easier. I told several stories about how I have seen top professional surfers making these horrible decisions, and just explained to them how empty these actions really make you feel. I also told several stories about meeting up with other christians all over the world, and how you are barely able to converse with them because of language barriers, but yet you share a deep connection of faith in the lord. I answered as many of the questions the kids had that time allowed, and thanked them all for letting me share a little time with them. After we were done speaking, I went to the back to sign some autographs, and handed out a ton of stickers from A-stars, Able planet, Dakine, Etnies... It was an insane experience that left you with a incredible feeling inside. Here are a couple photos of the night, I wanted to share the experience a little better on here.