Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Paddling is Life

Good to be sore, I suppose,

not just “sore” but I can’t sit,

I can’t walk, I can’t get up,

I can’t move, sore.

And to know it‘s because

I challenged myself...

beyond my age,

beyond my athletic strength,

and beyond my comfort level

and Won... (so to speak...)

if this is what winning feels like?

ugh, ouch... and yaay!

On the beach at O dark 30!

With piles and piles of stuff for the day.

Even tho we were the first

ones there... the air

already sparked with energy,

our energy.

The boats line the shoreline

asleep on the sand

patiently awaiting the “ride”

within in the hour,

every inch of the beach is covered

with canopies, people with BIG smiles

and paddles and more “stuff” than us.

Carolyn keeps whispering in my ear

“we are so lucky,

we are so lucky!”

Its true, so grateful for this time,

this adventure!

I had already vowed to make this

the best of times,

having learned a painful lesson last May

of not being in the moment.

While grieving a personal loss

to the point of sullen self absorption,

I missed the moments I sat next

to Jen on our last van ride together...

(oh what I would give to have

those six hours back!)

Looking around I see

the passing moments

of the years...the ghosts of “us!”

...lined up shoulder to shoulder

in picture after picture...

I see "them"

the six as one girls everywhere,

I see Jennifer’s smile against

the backdrop of sunshine...

wishing I had known the temporary

fleetingness of it all..

but I do now and I will take no

“thing” for granted!

As race time gets closer, bullfrog burps

expound from my throat...

my new teammates are surprised,

although they had been warned

little me, big sound? May be!

Then it is into the boat

and out to sea

everyone talks to me.

(maybe too much)

It is rough right away,

and the start with it’s usual

drifting array of colors

doesn’t happen,

everyone is on the move

without the flags,

so we went as well but too

far back to begin with.

The horizon goes up and down

it is like a roller-coaster...

a wet one and I remember I don’t

really LIKE roller-coasters...

and I am remembering I don’t really

LIKE the ocean either...

but here I am

my hair like a drenched stringing net

over my salt coated glasses

I can't see...

as wave after wave hits me in the face.

I lose my gum when I breathe

too much,

and I doubt I can go another minute!

My paddle only touches water

every other stroke...

"how to keep the pace when all I scoop is air?"

is one question,

another is,

"how do I not get washed over board?"

and then,

"what the hell am I doing out here?"

And isn't this a little like life?

I used to say, "paddling is life"

how you are in the boat,

is how we are in life!

So I relax a bit, go with it,

move forward, despite the plummetting

water crashing into me,

despite my terror of the huli

that nearly happened...

(confident my teammates thought

of me as they

threw their body weight

to keep it upright...

thanks everyone..

even tho I was resolved to it

and had one foot over the other side)

so maybe the ocean is life...

and I am just a bobber on it,

learning to swim and find my way,

staying put while moving forward,

prepared to being upside down at times,

life IS A roller coaster,

whether you like it or not

and sometimes I may actually earn a medal

for doing something...

I have no business doing!


Kate said...

This is excellent, Pam! Writing of your loss in a previous blog, I think this poem is most helpful as time passes to create a small piece of closure, for your being. All of us are "bobbers" in the sea of life that is so very unpredictable. It can kick us heartily in the teeth, as well as the butt when we least expect it! I think most who read this will feel your excitement, anxiety, and enthusiasm for a job well done, and all will relate in some sense. I think this poem will give those who read it -strength to overcome! Great job! Kate (+:

Creager Studios said...

Just so Beautiful Pam...inspiring and encouraging...words to live and feel by