Did you ever do anything so out of character that you actually surprised yourself?
Just yesterday, I woke up bright and early (if you know me personally, you’ll know that’s quite a feat in and of itself), tied on my bikini, and boarded a train heading to Long Beach, NY, to dive into the icy waters for the Polar Bear Superbowl Plunge. I met up with some friends from college, we pre-gamed, and then headed in direction of the boardwalk. The sun was shining, weather was sweet, and it was all for a great cause–the Make-a-Wish foundation. It’s not too late to make a donation, and, if you feel so inclined, you may do so here.
The night before the plunge, I questioned my sanity as nerves set in. Sure, I do yoga in intense heat. But this? This was scary. It also made me think of all the things I tell myself regularly that I won’t/can’t do in life and how silly that is. As I held hands with my friends and ran into the water, I realized that I’m capable of a lot more than I give myself credit for and I refuse to let fear, insecurity, or doubt play a role in my life any longer.
Here are some pics of the event (hand warmers were a life saver. Hat not so much):
Also, thank you to all who participated in last week’s meme. Believe it or not, not one person guessed correctly (I suppose I’m a much better liar than I thought!). I don’t have a PPL, can’t drink beer, don’t know how to swim, and have been a vegetarian for the past 14 years. So that leaves #3 as the correct answer. I was a coxswain at SUNY Albany but it was a rather short-lived stint since 4:30 in the morning is a god-awful time to get out of bed and besides, who the hell wants to wake up just to yell at people?
But it was as a coxswain that I began to enjoy the peace and stillness that comes with being in the presence of a large body of water. And there was something about pulling the boat on to the cool, glass surface that resonated with me. The graceful dance of the rowers, the way the boat rocked gently back and forth as the waves caressed its sides, the reassuring glimpse of a majestic sunrise. It brings to mind a quote from the British philosopher Alan Watts (and fuels a passion within me to learn how to swim asap): “To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.”
As it is with the water, may it be in life.