Today, while I was doing my grocery shopping, I looked through a BMX Plus magazine and saw two of my friends. It's a pretty weird feeling seeing people you know in a magazine. My first reaction is always excitement for the friend, followed by regret towards myself. Mostly because, I always wonder how far I could have gone had I actually pushed myself with my riding. When I was 14 years old I dreamed of being a professional, and by the time I was 18, I figured I'd just settle for some pictures in a magazine, or clips in a video. I always had a bunch of natural talent, more than most riders I believe, but I never did anything with it. I remember coming back from a contest in Austin, TX when I was 21. That place left me super motivated to learn a bunch of new tricks. I really wanted to push myself to that next level with my riding. So I could place well, in say, a national expert class, or enter a pro class more than once. That Texas motivation didn't last very long. Within a few weeks, I went back to the usual: Having fun riding bikes with my friends.
Before I went to the grocery store though, I watched a YouTube video via facebook of Clay Marzo, a professional surfer who has a form of autism, known as Asperger's Syndrome. I ended up getting pretty fascinated with the dude, and watched more videos on him. Due to his condition, he is somewhat of a jedi when it comes to surfing. He is apparently by far the best in the world for his age, and could easily make it as a professional, if he actually wanted to.
For some reason, I find an enormous amount of beauty in the fact he could care less about being a professional. Clay is the only person I've ever heard of who doesn't care to be transformed into something so many kids grow up dreaming of. To me it seems like a form of altruism. All he needs is the joy that comes from surfing, and nothing else. Because nothing else is apparently necessary to him. Just a wave and a surf board. It's a bit weird to think, but imagine a world where Michael Phelps set world records at the local YMCA; where Tiger Woods refused to compete on the PGA Tour; or Lance Armstrong just rode back and forth across America, like Forest Gump, simply for the hell of it. That's the world Clay Marzo lives in. I suppose I find it such a beautiful world because I sometimes think so many artists, musicians, writers, athletes, and people in general, including myself, often lose the main motive that gets us doing something, because we replace it with another one less pure. Clay Marzo, is my first, and only, 'favorite surfer'.
"Waves are toys from God." - Clay M.