I loved the movie, Chasing Mavericks, (2012), which is about a young boy and his passion for surfing. “Mavericks” refers to a surfing location near Santa Cruz, California, where huge waves can be found during certain times of year. The boy, Jay Moriarity, began surfing at age eight, and his heart’s desire is to surf the biggest wave ever. He is mentored by his next door neighbor, Frosty Hesson, who happens to be a local legend in the surfing community. Although the surfing scenes are breath-taking, I was drawn to the story by the similarity to my son David’s life. Jay and David had a lot in common, starting with learning their sport (surfing/kayaking) at a young age and quickly developing a passion to pursue that thrill. They both die young, but not from participating in their sport. Jay died at 22, free diving in the Maldives, and David died at 24 on a bicycle, while competing in an athletic competition.
Jay and David were well known and loved in their sporting communities. Both of them were inspirational to those who also love surfing or kayaking. Jay’s friends honored his life with a tradition of paddling out to a spot that was meaningful to Jay. The movie depicted his friends in a circle on their surfboards, tossing flowers into the ocean in his memory. David’s friends honored his life with a river float down the South Fork of the Payette, pausing for a moment of silence at the end of the trip to toss flowers into the the confluence of the South Fork, North Fork and Main Payette. Jay’s friends developed a slogan, “Live Like Jay!”, and David’s friends developed a slogan, “Do if for Dave!” The principal behind these two slogans is similar: “Live to be who you are truly meant to be.” (Surfing Mavericks: the Unofficial Biography of Jay Moriarity by Lifecaps.) Live every day to the fullest, follow your passion, do what you love. Don’t waste a moment because life is precious, life is short— so love your life and live it!
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