Larger than life

The Compass - - OPINION -

Ev­ery­one re­mem­bers their child­hood heroes. Those larger than life fig­ures who you looked up too.

If you were play­ing road hockey, there was al­ways that one player who you wanted to be. If you were play­ing su­per­heroes — yeah I did that — with your friends there was one you al­ways chose.

When you watched wrestling there was al­ways that one fig­ure who was larger than life.

Watch­ing that per­son, you cringe with ev­ery hit he took and cheered for ev­ery turn of mo­men­tum.

Some­times, when they lost, you cried. Re­mem­ber, this would’ve been be­fore you found out that wrestling was fake.

While I didn’t cry as a child when he lost, Bret Hart was still one of those fig­ures.

He was a po­lar­iz­ing fig­ure in the land­scape of pro­fes­sional wrestling in the late 80s and all of the 90s. Hart still holds a place dear in the hearts of those who re­mem­ber him prior to a stroke in 2002 that robbed him of most of his in-ring abil­i­ties.

A cou­ple of weeks ago, I had the plea­sure of in­ter­act­ing with Hart at a Le­gends City Wrestling event in Tor­bay.

While he didn’t wres­tle, he did come out to speak.

It was sur­real, see­ing this man, who I had looked up to for years as a child, stand­ing 10 feet away from me.

I was flooded with child­hood mem­o­ries, from the first time I put in a WWE tape into my VCR, to sit­ting down with my grand­fa­ther to watch a match.

I mean, it’s some­thing dif­fer­ent when you SEE one of your heroes rather than just WATCH­ING him. There re­ally is noth­ing like it. It was quite easy to keep my­self go­ing for a few days later just by rid­ing the wave of nos­tal­gia that came from the ap­pear­ance.

One thing that struck me when meet­ing him was just how big of a man Bret Hart is. Watch­ing on tele­vi­sion, you don’t re­ally think he looks that big, but when you’re stand­ing next to him, it’s some­thing else. It was some­thing larger than life. I imag­ine it’s an ex­pe­ri­ence that some­one gets ev­ery time they meet a hero. You might say, ‘nah I don’t even like him that much any­more,’ but that all changes when the per­son you idol­ized as a child is right in front of you.

Ev­ery­one longs to go back.

Surf’s up

With the cal­en­dar turn­ing to sum­mer and the weather start­ing to re­sem­ble the name, the stage ap­pears set for the shores of Trin­ity and Con­cep­tion bays to wel­come surfers.

Strange I know, well maybe not as strange as you might think.

I’ve spo­ken with a cou­ple of peo­ple who have seen surfers in the wa­ters sur­round­ing the com­mu­ni­ties of the area.

Un­for­tu­nately, I, per­son­ally, have not had the plea­sure of speak­ing with any­one who likes to glide over the wa­ter on a board, but I hope too.

The whole surf cul­ture fas­ci­nates me.

Mov­ing from one prime surf­ing spot to an­other, leery of out­siders and find­ing that per­fect spot and not let­ting the se­cret out to any­one who could spoil their wa­tery paradise is all as­pects that beg more ques­tions.

What drives you to surf ? Is there a code you live by? Or, what com­pels you to face the high­way and early morn­ings for a few hours of bliss?

There is al­ways the no­tion of surf­ing in the frigid At­lantic Ocean wa­ters.

A large part of surf cul­ture is the as­pect of lo­cal­ism. Surfers iden­tify spots with ex­cep­tional surf as their own.

In claim­ing own­er­ship, this spot be­comes “prop­erty” of those who use it reg­u­larly.

Does that ap­ply to New­found­land surfers? If they are from out­side of the community they surf in, can it be con­sid­ered theirs?

For me, surf­ing ap­pears to be a way to re­lease your­self from the con­straints so­ci­ety may have placed on you. A place to be free. It’s just you and na­ture and I want to learn more about it.

That’s why I’m us­ing this space as an ad, if you will. If any­one out there knows of some­one who surfs, or comes into town to surf, please contact the email be­low.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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