• Charles Cherney

121: Big Wave Surfer Garrett McNamara

I am watching 100 Foot Wave on HBO. The six-part series intimately captures the decade-long odyssey of surfing pioneer Garrett McNamara, who, after visiting Nazaré, Portugal in hopes of conquering a 100-foot wave, pushed the sport to ever-greater heights and alongside locals helped transform the small fishing village into the world’s pre-eminent big-wave surfing destination.


Watch this trailer to understand what this series is about:


I am almost the same age as big wave surfer Garrett McNamara. And Garrett – "GMAC" – is from Massachusetts – where I live. Perhaps these realities have something to do with him really resonating with me.


I don't know about you, but I am not a big wave surfer. I'll be honest – I'm not the biggest risk taker. But I am inspired by Garrett's big wave surfing.


Granted, as Garret has said, "Half the people think I'm out of my mind... and half are just - I think they all think I'm crazy, actually."


The quote I really like from McNamara is this one:


"If you have fear then it means you are not living in the moment. You are either stuck in the past or worrying about the future. It is important to not think and just do! Follow your heart and fear does not exist."


Well, we all have fear from time to time – even Garrett McNamara. The remarkable thing about Garrett is that out on the water he overcomes his fear. Watch him surfing this wave:

His secret? Being in the moment, connected to whatever is going on. He is a proponent of Just Do It. Or Just Deal With It.


Watching Garrett surf in 100 Foot Wave reminds me to follow my heart and to live in the moment.