The Coast News Group
Jackson Hale’s unique take on wellness could improve your surfing. Courtesy photo

Wellness on the water

It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden an adult wave. You know, the type of dark-water menace that siphons everything off the reef before unloading it all with enough force to pin you to the bottom and leave you unsure of which way is up.

Not that I was ever a big-wave surfer. Not even close.

Hey, even wimps have dreams.

Like most of you, I will never surf Mavericks or Jaws. Big winter swells in the local vicinity are enough, often too much for me these days.

The last time I was out on a truly big day I snapped my leash and, while swimming toward shore, was haunted by the thought that I might not make it in. (My greatest comfort at the time was that sharks probably wouldn’t want my pathetic corpse.)

That was a wakeup call, and ever since that day, I have been involved in working to attain a higher level of fitness through better nutrition, walking, running, swimming, breathing exercises and, finally, boxing.

As I mentioned in a previous column, boxing is a great cross-training exercise for surfers. It increases strength, flexibility, balance, endurance and focus. And, just as in surfing, there are consequences to not paying attention while boxing.

(Please don’t get the idea that I do battle in the ring. My punches are leveled against inanimate objects that don’t hit back.)

I first became aware of the benefits of a boxing workout through Hawaiian surfer/shaper, the late, great Ben Aipa. Aipa, who often tended toward the heavy side, had slimmed down and toned up considerably then, in his early 50s.

When I asked him how, he told me he was attending a boxing gym. That conversation took place more than 20 years ago, and it took nearly that long for me to move on the idea.

Even then, it wasn’t my idea, but that of boxing coach and heavyweight phenom Trent Rawlins who persuaded me to attend classes. A 250-pound pro heavyweight with a right cross that tends to drop opponents in the first round is quite persuasive.

Rawlins, as I have noted in a previous column, is a trainer at Encinitas Boxing Club where he and club manager Dana Donahue have assisted in improving both my physical and mental conditioning.

During a recent session, I noticed a fellow student with a T-shirt bearing the word “Humble” on it. Approaching the wearer, I said that I liked the logo and he explained that this was his new company and that he had only recently launched the brand.

He introduced himself as Jackson Hale, politely excused himself, walked to his car and returned with a T-shirt and his new book, “You Were Created for Greatness: A Philosophy of Wholeness.” I’m benefiting greatly from Hale’s words, as they are packed with as much power as a Trent Rawlins uppercut.

Hale, who looks far too young to have attained such knowledge as found in the 120 pages of “Greatness,” is also the founder of 360Wellness, a Christian Wellness Center.

In the book he explains the five keys to wellness — recovery, exercise, nutrition, mindfulness and faith.

Those interested in improving their surfing IQ can learn more about Jackson Hale and 360wellness by visiting


Attention senior citizens: Anyone who is a member of “Silver Sneakers” is now eligible for free training at the Encinitas Boxing Club. Contact: