I always used to be searching for calm waters, yet it seemed that my life was a series of waves on top of waves. Some waves are the kind you can swim through, while others can literally overwhelm you. I remember one time when I was a teenager my friends and I wanted to experience "The Wedge" in Newport Beach, a body surfing Mecca. We were young, full of energy with a a void of fear and common sense. The Wedge had no lifeguards, just warnings telling swimmers to swim at their own risk. This sounded perfect to us and into the surf we went.

I soon knew why it was so perilous as wave upon wave pounded over us.

I could hardly catch my breath. The water roared in my ears and my mouth and nose filled with water.

Gulp---push--gulp--swim!--gulp----keep going! Pretty soon I knew it was time to get the heck out before I had no more strength. Another swimmer helped me to shore. The Wedge had proved what real rough surf was all about.

Whenever I would encounter tough times, I would reflect on my time in Newport. Though I longed for calmer seas, unfortunately I've found many waves during my lifetime - some bigger than others. I've learned that you need to ride the waves you confront as best you can, all-the-while keeping your head above the water. Calm seas? They may never come - so be a good swimmer and most importantly avoid The Wedge!