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Surfing & Sobriety

surfing and sobriety

I can remember my life changing event, that happened back on November 26th, 1989. That was the last day of my drinking and drugging career. I wasn’t surfing much back then and I almost lost my life a couple of times that year due to my drug use. It’s really hard to perform in a surf contest after an all nighter at a club in downtown LA, but I still gave it my Boy scout try.

After I got clean & sober, that all changed. There’s no better feeling on earth than surfing with a clean mind. I started taking trips to Indonesia with sober friends in the mid 90’s and fell in love with the whole traveling experience. I went to sober conventions abroad and even helped members over in Bali to get involved in having commitments. The next time I went there, they had started a prison panel and even created an AA club house. Just because I’m sober and surfing around the world on vacation, I still need to be of service everywhere I go, or I get very squirmy & uncomfortable.

A day I’ll never forget during my 21 years of sobriety was 9/11. I was over in Bali, surfing a spot called Padang-Padang. The waves are so perfect they had to name it twice. Anyway, since Indonesia is about 15 hours ahead, I was woken up around 11:45pm to a friend calling to let me know what was happening in New York. I got so scared when I put the TV on because just then I realized that I was in a very weird part of the world. I was so stoked that I was clear headed & sober and not loaded, to deal with all the madness around me.

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Filed under: Life, Recovery · Tags: clean and sober, fun in sobriety, sober, sobriety, surfing

  • Solo

    Great story. True story. I’ve had the good fortune of joining chris at an AA meeting half a world away in Bali. Sick waves, solid fellowship and killer food. Thanks AA. You will not find a better surfing AA ambasador thanchris rohloff.

  • toni colvin

    Hey Chris,

    You’ve come a long way – you’ve just gotten better over the years. I remember when you were a little kid living next door to me with your dad and Mom – Grant and Judy on Latimer Road in the canyon. What a fun life we’ve had! We’re all so proud of you!

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