If it weren't for a kidney stone, Dale Webster would probably still be surfing.
Up until earlier this month, the 66-year-old surfed every single day for 40 years with the utmost commitment, according to Surfer Magazine.
Webster's entry in the Encyclopedia of Surfing (EOS) says that he has surfed through a flu, a sprain, dangerous winds, and even another kidney stone (he went directly to the hospital from the beach, with his wife's help).
But this second kidney stone was Webster's last straw and, on Oct. 5, Dale Webster chose not to go surfing for the first time in four decades.
Instead, he threw a party with his friends to celebrate his first day out of the water. He even made t-shirts that had his picture and the date on it.
"I thought it was going to be an emotional day," he said in an interview with Surfer Magazine.
"It's been this climactic thing and I just stopped cold turkey."
Webster's daily surf sessions started in 1975 after he surfed a big swell in northern California for a week straight. After the big swell dissipated, he was hooked. He continued to paddle out every single day.
In the 2003 documentary "Step Into The Liquid," Webster said that he wanted to keep going as his personal journey to understand life.
"It started out as a streak, went into a quest, and now it's some sort of mission," he explained in the documentary. "I don't really know what the mission is, but the only worthwhile thing in life is to ride it until the end and find out the meaning of it all."
The "meaning of it all" boiled down to enjoying the smaller moments of his journey.
"You're always checking the weather, the swell, and just getting amped about finding waves somewhere," he said in the August edition of Surfer Magazine. "And you do it all for those moments when the waves just seem to answer whatever is on your mind."
Being accountable to the larger surf community also meant something to Webster. On the day after his celebration party, as Webster was picking up bottles, a journalist with Surfer Magazine asked if he had ever questioned his commitment to reaching his goal.
I was on an honor system. I could’ve only caught one wave and no one would have known. But there was honor in it. I didn’t want to be a liar and be admired. I actually wanted to have done what I said I would do.
Read the full interview on Surfer magazine's website here.
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