Self-Proclaimed Gremmie

Posted on June 27, 2012

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gremmie, (I looked this up online), means someone who can’t surf very well. This may be a bit of an overstatement. I have, in fact, never been on a surfboard before, unless you count the occasional board attached to an arcade game in some smelly room tucked away at a mall somewhere. But, I am going to credit my decade and a half of being a competitive swimmer, and say that I have a good handle on the properties of water. (I pretend to believe I could stand up on a surfboard, but I truly have no idea)

My boyfriend (Stuart) is an avid surfer, and a good one at that. He casually mentions (ahem, badgers, ahem) me about learning to surf. He said he wanted to teach me, to make  me a surfboard. I’ll be honest, to me it was a lot like the adults in the Peanuts cartoons talking: “wah, wah, wah”. I, as I see it, patiently watched surfing movies with him, and looked at the numerous pictures he re-posted on Facebook or twitter.

Last weekend, Stuart decided he wanted to get out of the house since we had no fascinating plans. Hell, we never do. We decided to hit up the local surf shop: Wallerbears in Charlotte, NC (wallerbears.com). I was excited, because I love to rock my vans and hang out with people who don’t stare at me for creepy amounts of times because I have tattoos.

We strolled in, and BAM! there it was. This board was hanging from the ceiling. This is a NSP Surf Betty board. It’s 7″6′, and touted as being great for beginners. I stared at it for quite awhile (kind of like the people who stare at my tattoos), but I didn’t have the $475 for it.

Later, I was reading the Women’s Issue of Surf Transworld and noticed my boyfriend was looking up the Surf Betty online. Then he asked me the question that is going to change my life. “Can you get your weight down to 176?” (Yes, surfboards have weight limits)

Let’s pause for a second. I’m heavy. I know that society doesn’t like when people admit it without crying in a corner somewhere. I’m heavy and I want to be healthy, but I’m still confident. So, Stuart wasn’t being insensitive.

Return to story: I was honest with him and said “Sure, but it’ll take awhile”. So, he made me a deal. If I lose the weight he’ll get me the surfboard.


I am going to document my journey as a native snowy New Yorker, to a southern beach bum surfer.

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