【Becoming a Man by Mathew Tomson】
Deep inside the barrel, completely in tune with my inner self,
nothing else matters, the hard wind and spit shooting past me
from behind,my hand dragging along the wall, the light shines ahead.
My long hair carried by the wind. My feet are in perfect placement
on the board. As I lean forward I feel myself speeding up getting faster
and faster as the barrel starts to close.
I crouch down until my legs burn and I then pull out to the whole lineup cheering.
My body tingles with joy and happiness. I finally felt respected. I got back
on my board and paddled to the outside. I turnedmy head to the right to find
Keone and his crew paddling towards me. My joyful feeling disappeared
as fast as they came, my mouth went dry and I was truly afraid. He stopped
in front of me and raised his hand. I ducked, but no pain was to come. I opened
my eyes and put my hand out and firmly grasped his hand. This was not a handshake,
it was a sign of respect. I looked into his eyes and we paddled to the point
together without saying a word.The moment was much more powerful
than any words could explain. For the rest of the season I was allowed
to take off on as many waves as I wanted. I could have never imagined
being part of "The Crew" but I was and I will always be. That was the day
I became a man.