I’m standing at the water’s edge and staring. I’m already anticipating how shockingly cold the ocean will be when it touches my skin for the first time and it makes me a feel a little lightheaded. I’m awkwardly trying to find my footing in the sand while also stiffly holding a body board. I’m aware of every stretch and movement the wet suit makes and I feel a bit claustrophobic in it. I’m feeling completely out of my element. This is all new for me. The body board. The wet suit. The plunging into the ocean for that matter. 20+ years of living by the water and I hadn’t once ventured into it. Not once.
This moment was a long time coming though. After years of telling myself I was too fat to wear a wet suit, to embarrassed to be seen in a wet suit for that matter. Too out of shape to attempt body boarding. Too afraid to swim in the ocean. Always allowing that inner voice to tell me what I CAN’T do. That inner voice that feeds my self loathing and vulnerability. The one I always listened to until one day, pretty recently, a smaller voice in me suddenly said “Enough.” It said “You’re letting your life slip away from you. You aren’t getting any younger. Get off you fucking ass and live the life you want to live. Stop. making. excuses. You are the only one holding yourself back.”
So here I stand. Contemplating my next move. Watching as Nathan heads into the water without a moment of hesitation. In so many ways, he’s braver than me. He likes a little bit of danger with his adventure. It’s not something he would readily admit to, but I’ve seen it in his eyes. I prefer my adventure a bit more tame. We work well together because of these small differences. He gets me to step a little bit out of my comfort zone and I keep him alive. Less reckless. Which may be a surprise to those that know him because he comes across very reserved and quiet but that is far from the truth. He has a bit of a wild streak in him. Mostly because he just never worries that anything will go wrong. I admire that about him. I worry that everything will go wrong.
Anyway…I did finally follow him into the water and spent the afternoon body boarding Well, I attempted to at least. I was slammed quite a bit by the waves and swallowed, by accident, a nauseating amount of salt water. But it was one of the best days of 2015. And by the end of the afternoon I could reasonably ride a wave. I got showed up by quite a few younger (aka kids) people in the water but regardless of that I had a blast. Better yet I was proud of myself for tackling something new.
I mean…look at my face. I couldn’t stop smiling. What an amazing day.