This morning started like any other. I showered, dressed, grabbed my keys and hit the road –The usual routine. I jumped in the car and did my daily drive-by surf check on the way to the office, my last chance to breathe in freedom before I shackled myself to the desk for the next 9 hours.

Traffic was unusually heavy as I inched my way south down Queenscliff hill. As I neared Manly I spotted Layne Beachley heading back from the early. She looked in good nick and smiled as she jogged up the notoriously steep incline, enough to make me feel the sting of guilt and regret for not surfing again this morning, and also for the inordinately large serving of pasta and several glasses of wine I’d polished off last night.

Just as Layne reached a set of stairs she stopped dead in her tracks, backtracked a few metres and began scanning the ground. I looked on curiously as she lay down her board and dropped to all fours in the gutter. What was she doing? Before I could work it out she thrust her hand into the stormwater drain, rustled around and pulled free a large yellow plastic bag. Without missing a beat she folded it up, grabbed her board and continued on her way.

The guilt I felt for not surfing magnified a hundred fold. If a seven-time world champion can get down on her hands and knees and pull plastic from a drain on her way home from the surf, what excuse does anyone else have?

Cheers for the reality check Layne, you just went up several notches in my book, I vow not to play ignorant again. No more will I simply walk past those pieces of rubbish on the beach while making some lame excuse for myself. I’m in!

If you need more inpiration to get involved head here