Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Love Waking before Work; Early-Morning Surfing Is a Great Antidote to the Drudgery of a Desk Job

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Love Waking before Work; Early-Morning Surfing Is a Great Antidote to the Drudgery of a Desk Job

Article excerpt

FROM January onwards Londoners begin to long for our next summer break.

For me, holidays are all about sport, and seeing pictures of Prince Harry doing my favourite activity

wakeboarding in Barbados the other week drove me into spasms of jealousy.

I'm often so desperate to hit the surf that I forget entirely about the two days it takes to get anywhere, the crippling jetlag and arguments with my partner on the plane. By the time I get back, I usually need another holiday.

But this year, I'm holidaying at home. In fact, I had my first summer holiday of 2007 last weekend. I've got another one planned for this Saturday and I quite fancy squeezing in a third before work one day next week.

On Saturday I went to Surrey to go wakeboarding. It may only have been a short 40-minute scoot down the M25, but it had all the required elements of a successful summer holiday: sun, sea (well, lakes are similar aren't they?), sand and watersports. There was even a barbecue.

I emerged from the water looking like I'd been dragged through a lake backwards (I had), and joined the queue for chicken drumsticks behind a girl with pigtails who looked about 15.

When she told me she was an investment banker from the City I assumed she was delirious with sunstroke.

Only when I saw her wrestling her wakeboard into the back seat of a Porsche 911 did it occur to me that she was serious.

She's a prime example of what more and more Londoners are doing: leadinga Clark Kent-style double life as adrenaline sports junkies. Your average kitesurfer may well have lowslung board shorts, a tan and windswept blond hair. It's just that he now also has a nine-to-five desk job, a pinstripe suit as well as a wetsuit, and enough gel to refashion his hair into a neat preppy style when the office beckons.

My double life often happens so early in the morning that my colleagues have no idea I've been out in the country in the middle of a lake before I come to work. …

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