The Ocean Can Giveth and the Ocean Can Taketh Away

There are moments where my mind drifts, and I’m not present where I physically exist. There are moments when I am fully present, and couldn’t feel more alive and aware of my surroundings. As I literally stood on a paddle board tonight, propelling myself forward with a paddle through the depths of the ever vast ocean, my body felt strong, my legs were shaking from my first body pump class earlier in the day, my cheeks, nose, and shoulders felt the kiss of the sun as it slid slowly down the sky, and a Cheshire Cat grin crept up my face. I was fully present in this moment. I was aware of how incredibly amazing it was to try two new types of physically challenging adventures today, and to be successful at both. It is no easy feat to “toss” around some weights. I think it’s even more challenging to go from your butt to your knees to your feet on a board that’s *maybe* two feet wide while its floating on the open ocean with nothing to hang onto. That’s some seriously balancing skills in motion!

I realize that the ocean is not something you ever take for granted. It is vast, it is deep, it will swallow you up in a hot minute. It is also majestic, calming, and one of the most soothing places to end your day. I relish these moments where I find my true happy place. I seek these moments. To be so happy my face seeks the sky instead of staring down the people around me, worried about them scrutinizing my extra padding. To be so happy, I am thrilled to see and cheer on the successes of others. I was so stoked when everyone in the class tonight stood up on their paddle boards! We did it! We trusted ourselves to be strong enough to balance on a board on the water! To be so happy, my anxiety seemed to vanish away. To be so happy, I didn’t care how sore my arms were getting from an earlier workout and from paddling. To be so happy, I truly was disconnected from the world of technology, and I was one with nature. I allowed Mama Nature to teach me it was ok to not fight the waves, but to ride them. It was ok to not be so tightly in control. To be so happy, I could just let go.

Sometimes we need those challenges that hurt so bad that you grin when you’re done because you KNOW you’ve pushed your mental and physical boundaries. Today was one of those days, and I couldn’t be more grateful for my friend, Sarah, for taking me out of my comfort zone. Life isn’t about control or conciseness or the time on the watch. Sometimes, it is fully about being in the moment, being connected with the people you are with, and being happy. As I curl up for the night with my favorite chocolate lab, I smell the mix of my coconut conditioner and the salt in my wet hair, and I smile because life isn’t about tomorrow. It’s about living right now.

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