I Think You Can


There is freedom waiting for you,

On the breezes of the sky,

And you ask “What if I fall?”

Oh but my darling what if you fly?

(Erin Hansen)



Anton clocked me checking out the wetsuits in his surf shop. I was there in his neoprene cave in the heart of Table View looking at suits for my kids who were going to his holiday surf school.

“I’m gonna add you to the Ladies Surf Clinic WhatsApp group. We meeting at Big Bay tomorrow.” he said.

My brain flipped. I can swim but I hate where my feet can’t touch the bottom or the sides and I hate it even more if the bottom is not a very smooth flat pool floor. The sea was something mostly just admired from the sand, something to squash into a wetsuit for when my kids wanted a play in the surf. Me going into the sea without my kids as cover? I was scared! But something caught in me. I’d always wanted to try it. Why not tomorrow?

“Cool, I’ll come.” I said before I could think too hard and change my mind.

That’s how I got to have my first swim in the sea where my feet couldn’t touch the bottom (surf booties are the bomb for when it does touch), and in the three and a bit months since then life has certainly changed. I’ve made some new friends, peed in my wetsuit a million times and found out that my fringe is not sea proof (dude, I can’t lie it’s a sea ‘fro). The pee and the fringe thankfully have not cost me any new friends. Yet. As for Anton, he is a true soul of the sea, running these weekly clinics for free so that more women will try out the ocean.

It was my husband who was behind the next push.

“I think you can learn to surf.” he dropped in as I went on about the massive fun of being on a body board in the sea, listening to me doubt that I would ever actually surf. He kitesurfs so the sea is already his currency of happiness (check out his Melkbos webcam and wind info at and hearing his confidence in me made me say,

“Ok, I guess I could try.”

And it turned out that I love to surf! Notice I didn’t say that I’m good at it. My nirvana on an 8ft Fury Mini Mal depends on the right wave and whether I’ve paddled my ass off – only then can I stand up and go for about ten seconds. But the fun! The fun in it is off the charts and I’m pretty sure I have worn out some cheek muscles with all the stupid smiling and laughing that happens in the water.

When I was still thinking about what to write this week I was going to stop after saying how much fun it is, maybe encourage some of you to join me. I thought I’d just go on a bit more about my new world of surfing, those surf snobs (yes dude, my board is big it’s nearly the size of a door) and my secret joy of wearing a wetsuit (sucks everything in, helps you float. What’s not to love?). But I had some pretty awful news on this weekend and yesterday, as I tried to catch yet another foamy, I had a moment. I realised how incredibly lucky I’ve been in life, to have people who so many times have pushed me out of my comfort zone, said to me;

“I think you can.”

Sometimes it’s been things I’ve secretly dreamed of and other times they were things I’d never even thought of. A few times it’s been something so daunting I didn’t imagine I would ever get through it.  But in the trying and the doing I’ve found things that I not only could do, I even found some things I love. I didn’t love everything that’s for sure! But to think I never would’ve tried if someone else hadn’t believed in me enough to say

I think you can.

So what’s the point of this qwerky post going on past the fun bit? It’s this. I know the wisdom of believing in yourself but let’s be honest, so often it helps if someone else believes in you too. And that goes for fun bits and hard bits. My moment in the water after getting the news made me want to share some of what I’ve been lucky enough to get. Maybe it’s something stupid or something significant you’ve been thinking about – whether it’s a new job or a new haircut, a first marathon or a first singing lesson. Or a big fight you didn’t think you’d have to fight. I want to say,

I think you can.

And what if you fall?

Oh but my darling what if you fly?


PS I hope you like the updated! I’m pretty chuffed with the look of it – especially now that I have released myself from the burden of trying to actually trying to code every little thing.

PPS Anton and his shop can be found at

4 Responses

  1. Haha!! Again one super lovely piece of thought
    .. i love to think I CAN… may we all free fall; fly… especially in AVROS… ok be it then fringe fros!! Flip I love avros ..i want!!!… butt “lol”… it does not come along with sea water. Thank You Kiwi for yet a Super piece

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