How to be French pt. 6: Heart-check in Hossegor

Don’t worry, my heart is fine. After running a 4 miles in about 30 minutes, I would definitely say my heart is good to go.

Last weekend, my friend Kristin and I made our way to Hossegor, France to run in a Roxy Fitness race and enjoy the surf competition that was going down. To say I was stoked would be a sorry understatement because running and surfing and John John Florence . . . well, you do the math. It was a weekend of activities that I knew would make my heart so happy. To be near the ocean again and witness some of the greatest surfers of today shred was more than I could imagine.

After we ran on Sunday, Kristin and I grabbed burgers (OMG PRAISE GOD WE FOUND BURGERS IN FRANCE BECAUSE I MISS BURGERS), and made our way down to the beach to relax.

The vastness of the shore reminded me so much of California and if I closed my eyes, I could have been sitting on Carmel Beach. But I wasn’t going to sink into nostalgia again this time. I was going to enjoy every minute of this beautiful beach (and beautiful surfers). After finishing my food, I hopped up to run down to the surf competition because I hadn’t run enough that day and nothing could stop me from watching Tyler Wright and John John Florence compete. And so I started jogging easily along the tide, letting the water come lap up against my ankles.

I was not going to miss home right now, I told myself. I was going to take in this experience deeply. That’s something I have been keen on lately, after my little bout with nostalgia at Cap d’Agde. I wanted to redeem myself. I know it’s okay to miss home, but this beach and this sunshine were not going to let me.

I tried to keep jogging but of course had to stop every two seconds to pick up a sea shell or a pretty rock. As I did so, I tried to be as aware as I could of my senses and what I was feeling.

My heart was beating fast. The wind whipped my hair about my face. The smoothness of the stone in my hands was oddly satisfying. My feet sank deep into the sand with every step. The ocean was so grand. And I was significantly small.

I thought in that moment, how silly my nostalgia must be to God. That was seriously all I had to be worried about these last few weeks and I let it get the best of me. I am small and so are my problems and God is so big.

I stopped walking for a moment and sat down in the sand, determined to evaluate the condition of my heart. This was something I rarely did, but am trying to do more . . . seeing that I tend benefit so much and it allowed me to recenter on what’s important. Looking at the summer, after a serious reevaluation of where my heart was, it was evident I needed to put it in a different place.

My heart beat fast. Good. I liked it that way, exhausted and quick from running. But I didn’t like living that way, exhausted and tired from thinking too much. I decided right there, as I let the waves hit my feet again, that I couldn’t over-think anymore. My heart could not afford to. I had to be more decisive, more sure of who I was, and more honest with myself about my heart.

Geez. All this from simply letting myself JUST ENJOY the moment and not worry about the past or what was to come. I’m telling you, the ocean air has that effect on me.

My heart was in the right place. I came to France for the right reasons. But now that I had been here for sometime, I couldn’t let things fall into routine or keep longing for home. This was my time to be who I was and not think too much and simply be free in that.

Hossegor let me fall in love again with surfing and be re-enchanted with my heart’s reasons for being in France. Those reasons are to learn (always learn), become acquainted with I truly am, and cling to Jesus, not the experience or home or the people I meet.

So my question to you is, where is your heart? Is it stuck on something . . . or someone? Does worry have a tight grip on your heartstrings? Are you taking a moment to reevaluate what’s been on your heart for last week and why? Do yourself a favor and check your heart. You’ll be happy you did.

I got up from my spot in the sand. That was enough thinking for one day. I HAD to find John John Florence and enjoy every wave of this weekend.

Did I mention JJF gave me high-five and I nearly died of joy? Yep. He did. My heart is full.