Throw Back Thursday Riding the Waves of Life
The blog I have been writing about recently is about my Hawaii experience. Sometimes in life the most challenging parts are the ones with the most juice, the most potential for growth if you choose it. Sometimes all there is do is say a prayer and let go and swim.
July 21st 2013
I just free swam 10 foot waves. Waves that no other free swimmer was swimming in. I swam out past where the surf line up was with my friend that had taken me to Kona and out Puna where I am staying. When we left to swim I wasn’t really fully thinking about how big the waves were. I just said a prayer before I went out and let go. Getting out is way easier because the way that the tide pulls you. The water was deep. I kept swimming. I had to duck under the massive waves so that I didn’t get taken out by them and the surfers. Was it a little scary? Yes. It wasn’t just the water but shear energy of the waves, surfers, the coral underneath me, and the looming fear of what was happening with the training.
I’ve never really thought of myself as a good swimmer, until today. My friend and I just kept on getting crazy looks from the surfers and their mouths dropped with shocked that we were crazy enough to do this swim. But, onward we went. When you finally get past the point break it is a mellow bob of waves. There was tons of tropical fish of yellows and blues swimming beneath me. Diving deep you can feel the pressure of all the water, then I remember that I am in the middle of the largest ocean on planet earth. We played out in the mellowness for at least an hour treading the whole time. I hadn’t even thought about how we were going to swim back in. There isn’t just waves but an epic coral reef that has a potential to really fuck a person up. We started our journey back towards the sand. I swallow some salt water and panic a bit, but then I remember to breath.
I’m free swimming in waves that have traveled 1,000’s of miles to end their journey right where I am trying to land. You have to catch the perfect timing to not get thrashed. All my ego wants to do is freak out, but I keep coming back to my breath. “Let go, stay calm Liz, it is all going to work out.” One of the surfers felt nervous about what we were doing that he comes out to help us back in. Basically, the best thing to do is doggy paddle and throw yourself into the frothy waves.
I cursed myself for being so dumb and reckless a few times because I was so scared I wasn’t going to have the strength to make it in. I finally reach the where the coral is and the water is shallow. I trust myself and float over the sharp coral. Finally, my hands reach the sand. I scramble out of the water feeling totally exhausted. I’ve made it. I looked back out at the 10 foot waves and started to cry. Another surfer came up to me and my friend and said, “Oh man, you girls are hard core swimming out there. Not even the locals free swim these waves.” I truly met and faced my fears today. I was able to move through them with grace and trust. It is a gift to be alive, no matter how scary the circumstances.
Maybe you have been in a situation where you feel the waves are 10 feet over your head. You feel so small and powerless in the moment. When you follow the lead of your heart, you can never go wrong. Keep trusting that it will all work out no matter how big the waves are. Identify some big waves in your life and see where you can let go and trust.