The following is an excerpt from the book “No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Munoz“. It is a bit about Buzzy Trent, but the last two paragraphs are great pieces of life advice from Mickey on commitment.
Buzzy Trent’s Commitment
Another one of my gurus was Buzzy Trent. Buzzy was a local Santa Monica guy, who went to Santa Monica High and was a football player there. He was physically endowed and a gutsy surfer; he rode as big a waves as anybody and as far back.
We went up to Rincon a lot in the winter at that time and also surfed Overhead. Overhead was the closest thing that we had to the hard-breaking outside waves in Hawaii. Buzzy loved Overhead. He would take me there and paddle out with me and encourage me into waves. Buzzy would never take off in front of anybody. He was always farther inside closer to the curl . That was just Buzzy’s ethic, and he tried to instill that in me. He knew it was better to commit completely to the ride.
When you’re surfing Pipeline, you need to commit totally. You’re better off going for it than trying to pull back at the last second because the wipeouts when you pull back at the last second are way worse. You have to want it, and even though you’ve made a mistake and you know you’ve taken off too late or you can’t do it, you still need to go for it because it’s worse if you don’t.
You can apply that one to life in general. Don’t be dumb. Don’t think you can stand in front of a train or jump out of an airplane without a parachute and flap your wings and fly. Don’t be totally stupid, but if you do commit to something, go for it. You’ll learn from the wipeouts. So you take off deeper in the pocket and you might not make a lot of waves, but the ones you do will be the real rewards.
Go out there, get out into the world and go for it. Commit to something and be ok if you fail. You tried, and most people spend the bulk of their lives never trying. Chances are, if you try hard enough and long enough you will succeed! But, remember what Mickey said.. Don’t be dumb… that could be best piece of advice I have ever heard.