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,
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,
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
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
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,
"how do I not get washed over board?"
"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...
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!