Slice of Life Story - A Small, Yet Awesome Moment

From the safety of the shore I recently watched as a small boy maybe eight years old paddled his surfboard towards a wall of surf on Bali’s Legian Beach. 

A good three metre swell presented itself to all who were game to chance it. Many older, more experienced surfers had accepted the challenge. The boy was not dissuaded. The small framed one stood out like a fly in a bowl of rice.

The small boy worked his skinny arms tirelessly propelling his board to a place beyond the breakers, where the big boys go. A place from which to launch themselves upon a shore bound wave. It was a struggle, but he doggedly persisted, almost willing his board to go further out. It appeared to be a giant challenge just to get out there.

Waiting for the right moment to go, he watched the older surfers break from the huddle and tackle the waves. The boy’s first two efforts are unsuccessful. His light body and his small board make it easy for the wave to give him the slip and he slides off the back. He is not done yet though. He goes again.

This time the grabs the wave with exquisite timing and crouches low on his board. He begins to take control riding with both agility and great balance. He rides the wave with poise, cresting it to the shoreline. He tames the wild energy of the sea with his fearless ride.

His style is reminiscent of older, more experienced board riders, suggesting he is no stranger to this activity. He is quite obviously a precocious talent. He has heeded the teachings of the wave masters.

A small boy, fearless and self-assured in the sea. A small boy with advanced skills at such a young age. What an incredible sighting. I sit on the shore and marvel. I open my notebook and I know immediately what I want to write this day.

Everyday people achieve incredible feats. We who bear witness experience a sense of awe in the presence of such performances. Impossible is nothing, so they say. 


  1. I love the tenacity of this little guy, but most of all I love the voice, tone, and style of your writing. "The small framed one stood out like a fly in a bowl of rice" is just perfect and your concluding paragraph resonated with me. It will be jotted down in on my capturing quotes page of my journal. Thanks, Alan, for a great slice!

  2. This little guy has grit! What a great noticing you found on the beach that day. You described it perfectly! (It's great to see your words here today too!)


  3. I love the life lesson you ended this beautifully observed moment with.

  4. I love the life lesson you ended this beautifully observed moment with.


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