Birthday Waves

The biggest day I've ever surfed Miami Beach was hurricane Sandy, October 27, 2012, which happened to be my wedding day AND my 40th birthday. So I paddle out and this huge set is coming, off in the distance, but miraculously it doesn't break on top of me, it goes by and I'm paddling like I am in a conveyor belt I get out almost instantly until I realize that the rip current I'm in is super powerful and I'm being pulled clear to the Bahamas. I spend the next 45 minutes paddling back, trying to make it back somewhat close to the shore and as I'm paddling I wonder what if I don't make it, the rip is so strong, but I make it back to the break in time to catch a wave, I'm exhausted, I ride that one wave which feels like a Mack truck under me and I take it all the way to the beach, my wedding and birthday can still go on.