Manning the helm—something all sons can aspire to. Happy Dad's Day.

Manning the helm—something all sons can aspire to. Happy Dad’s Day.

Happy Father’s Day | An Ode to the Real Waterman

Cheers to man who had me sucking saltwater before I could crawl. The man who taught me to tread water. The man who showed me to swim, stand and stroke. Cheers to the man who first put a paddle in my hands.

To the man who—no matter how cold or scary or shark-infested the lake was—always made me jump off the dock. The man who always jumped off with me and let me beat him to the buoy, despite his old-man strength. Thanks to the man who understood that outracing an idol does great things for a boy.

To the man who pushed me into my first wave. The man who sensed an ankle-lapper at Cardiff by the Sea would be a ride to change my life. To eight-year-old me, that wave was 10 feet tall. Cheers to the man who told me to GO.

To the man who bought me my first wetsuit and gave Santa credit for my first sled. The man who taught me how to turtle-roll and then duck-dive. The man who showed me the true meaning of, “When the wave breaks here, don’t be there.” Thanks to the man who always put safety first.

To the man who gave his mornings so I could spend mine in the salt. The man who hooted louder than I did when I caught my first bump. The man who showed me Surfline forecasts and drove for hours down the One so we could score 38th. Cheers to the man who always paddled out with me, and who always brought me back to shore.

To the man who taught me to sail. The man who told me, ‘You can’t throw a life-raft from a sinking ship.” The man whose ship was never sinking, and whose life raft taught me to build my own. Thanks to the man who taught me how to patch holes.

To the man who makes me try my hardest. The man who always made me try before deciding if something wasn’t for me. Cheers to the man who taught me that when you want something bad enough, you don't try, you do.

Cheers to the man who showed me that being a waterman takes work, time and diligence. The man who said, "10,000 hours is just the beginning." The man who showed me that being a "waterman" is a lifelong pursuit. Cheers to the man who gave me the tools to pursue it for life.

Cheers to you, dad. And, thank you. Happy Fathers Day.

To countless waves to come with dad, the real waterman. –MM