Thursday, October 20, 2011

Alpha Male

All during school I was a non athlete. Except in gym class football, where I enjoyed smashing the people who gave me such grief over my horrible basketball and baseball play. When it came to surfing, I decided to get good and I did. I suppose you can get good at anything with enough practice and to be honest I got real good in surfing. Then, admission into that golden, elite fraternity, that of the alpha male.

The best surfers at the local breaks accepted me as one of them. No attitude, they'd talk with me, joke with me, share refreshments with me. I remember sitting in a room one morning with the elite of the spot's surfers, sharing some morning refreshments, just hanging out, joking, laughing, talking surfing. The house belonged to a girl, girlfriend of one of the locals, it had been built by her grandfather, it had started out as a cabin around 1900, a house had been built around it, and she owned it.

Having been on the outside so long and observed the inner workings of the circle of alpha males, I pretty much knew how to act. Surfers like probably all other groups of guys do gossip, they bad mouth and trash other guys behind their backs. So I knew not to. I knew just to listen and never say a bad word about anybody. I knew to be quiet and unassuming, never tooting my own horn. Let my surfing speak for me. Oh and I do remember some wonderful days. Every dog has his day, I did have mine, you get everything you paddle for, you somehow select the best wave of every set, you ride every wave well, and it just goes on and on and on. But of course there are days when nothing works right, too.

Being an alpha male does carry thru into your personality, it kind of influences how you behave and how other people relate to you in other aspects of your life. As a guy you have a confidence. People feel that, somehow they like it, they respect it, especially if you are not arrogant. People would flock to me, one guy followed me around like a puppy, he adored me. Just be nice to everybody and surf well.

First Kalalau hike, hikers tend to bunch up, little knots of hikers hiking together, our little knot on the first hike, well along the way, was being dominated by a rather loudmouth fellow who worked too hard at projecting himself as the leader, as the alpha male. I said nothing, just hiked along. Somehow his pack broke, and of all the people he could have chosen to come up to to try to fix it, he came up to me, and almost like drawing inspiration out of the sky, I fixed it. Then I was the alpha male. No need to say anything, everybody knew it, accepted it, was happy with it. God I enjoyed that. Oh it does stroke your ego. Of course it does.

I think its kind of a biological thing. We are herd animals, we always need a leader. Thats just the way it is. To be a leader among males you have to project some kind of image. Having a good body is very important to that. Its true. It might seem weird, or unbelievably trivial or silly but you do not see fat alpha males. Sorry to say, you do not see alpha males in wheel chairs. Exception, Franklin Roosevelt.

One of the guys owned a surf shop. The elite, the best surfers. And there I was, low key, one of them. It is a different kind of thing to be an alpha male. Confidence, quiet confidence, no need to show off, you are accepted, you have arrived. A new experience for me.

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