The ocean has never been a good friend of mine and our relationship continues to be a struggle. Every time I think I’m ready to rekindle the friendship there’s an obstacle. And the truth is, it’s really not a top priority for me to be good friends with the ocean just to be friendly.
I was deeply humbled yet again about two weeks ago. It was a beautiful morning in Malibu. The sun was shining and it was a gorgeous day. My friend picked me up Saturday morning at 6.45 am so we could swim with a group at Zuma Beach and be accompanied by a lifeguard…very comforting to me since I have a rocky relationship with the ocean.
All is going well. We’re on time and we meet the group of swimmers at 7.30 am. We get our wetsuits on and listen to the lifeguard’s tips to swim better. The group leader asks if there are any questions and then we all start walking in the water. Here’s where the story unfolds. I put my feet in the water and it’s so cold, 57 degrees, that it’s actually painful to stand in the water (even the experts will say that 57 is chilly). This isn’t surprising since I am freezing all the time and always need a jacket. Truth be told, I usually swim in the Santa Monica pool (with a surf suit to keep me warm) so the ocean temp is a shock to my body.
The group is starting to swim and I need to make a decision if I’m going to join them or not. I’m not a quitter but I let them go without me. The only reason I’m swimming in the ocean is to prepare for the upcoming Malibu triathlon. I know I still have time (although not much) and hope that the water will warm up. As a penalty for not swimming I keep my feet in the water for the next 30 minutes while the group swims. Amazingly enough, my feet never warm up.
Mission not accomplished. The struggle continues to prepare for the Malibu Triathlon. I am prepared for the swim portion if it were in a pool but not the ocean. I’m still battling this one and have until September 12th to conquer it. I’m moving to Plan B which includes the following small steps:
* Change my mindset to I am becoming friends with the ocean rather than we’re not friends
* Ask a good friend and experienced swimmer to swim with me in the ocean
* Considering purchasing booties to keep my feet warm and a neoprene cap for extra warmth
* Joining forces with another good friend and swim buddy for the ocean swims so we can keep each other accountable
* Continue to swim in the Santa Monica pool 2-3 times a week so I’m comfortable with the swim portion
So who really cares about this battle of the ocean story? Perhaps you’ve guessed that it’s not about the ocean or swim. It’s about being resilient and getting back up. The ocean kicked my butt last time but I got back up and will try my luck again. I’m still struggling with this one but that’s often the story. It doesn’t matter if you have struggles — that’s normal. Just that you face them eventually and bring in support to move past them. Wish me luck on this one. I’m hoping for a top 1% outcome.
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Keep believing in yourself,