In over fifty summers, I've sustained a damaged rotator cuff, torn thumb tendon, strained Achilles tendon, sprained ankle, simple orbit fracture, cracked palate, demolished molar [a surf board hit me in the side of the face; not my board, some teenager's], two black eyes [not at the same time], bloodied noses, a sprained elbow, jellyfish stings, and
Then again, I've seen colleagues literally work themselves to death in the face of their congregations' spiritual lassitude, sneering indifference, and occasional hostility, so it seems that surfing is safer.
From The Dawn Patrol, by Don Winslow:
"The physicists call it a 'energy-transport phenomenon.'
The dictionary says it's 'a disturbance that travels through a medium from one location to another location.'
A disturbance. It's certainly that.
Something gets disturbed. That is, something strikes something else and sets off a vibrations. Clap your hands right now and you'll hear a sound. What you're actually hearing is a sound wave. Something struck something else and it set off a vibration that strikes your eardrum.
The vibration is energy. It's transported through the phenomenon of a wave from one location to the other.
The water itself doesn't actually move. What happens is one particle of water bumps into the next, which bumps into the next, and so on and so forth until it hits something. It's like that idiot wave at a sports event - the people don't move around the stadium, but the wave does. The energy flows from one person to another.
So when you're riding a wave, you're not riding water. The water is the medium, but what you're really riding is energy."
[Above is a photo of a Roman Catholic nun whose religious order hosts an annual charity surfing competition in Stone Harbor, New Jersey.]