A while back I was out paddle boarding in open ocean with my boyfriend and a group of people and after a lot of going back and forth through the current to get one of the people who was having a hard time, three of us ended up getting trapped in a whirlpool current and then getting pulled away from the shore. We were paddling as hard as we could, yet the current was getting stronger and stronger and the tide was changing so we found ourselves far from the beach without being able to paddle back to the shore. As I was struggling to get to the surf in the hope that once I get there, the waves will pull me in, a huge turtle popped its head to the left of my board, looked up at me, went under my board, popped its head out the other side of my board, then disappeared into the deep. It somehow felt as if the turtle was there to make sure I was ok. It was then that I realized we needed help. After a few attempts, we managed to wave down a catamaran returning to the marina. They picked us from the water, took us to the marina and drove us back to the beach. The story was obviously more intense than described here, but the focus here is not what actually happened, but what I learned from it.
- I’m stronger than I give myself credit to be. And I mean that both physically and mentally. I was lost at sea and I never freaked out, I kept looking for solutions, I kept paddling, kept pushing for a way out…and did I mention I’m not even a good swimmer?
- Sometimes it’s ok to ask for help. I have this belief that I always have to do things on my own, that asking for help means I’m not good enough to make it on my own. But asking for help is about allowing myself to be human. I had already given it all my best, my body was cramping from the effort (and was sore for about a week), my knees and feet were scraped, the wind was almost blowing me off the board, I was getting really cold…I definitely wasn’t weak and asking for help didn’t make me weak.
- Any experience that leaves you alive and unharmed is a story worth sharing and worth learning from. When on the boat, the captain talked a little about ocean currents and what to be mindful of. With that in mind, I don’t expect that I will be trapped in a whirl-current anytime soon. Now I can look at the waves, feel the current and understand where my limitations are so I don’t put my life in danger again.
- I can be focused, strong, full of energy, confident.
- People love me enough to come back for me through raging waters and not leave me behind even if I resist the support.
- I always find a way to make things work. Sometimes I make things work by myself, other times I ask for support (reluctantly 🙂 ), sometimes I might get mad at the people trying to help (oops!), but I always find a way.
Sometimes we feel lost at sea even though we’re sitting on solid ground, sometimes, everything around is moving and the things we thought as solid are moving farther and farther away from you. That’s the best time to take a minute, assess the situation and make a better decision, a decision that may bring you to a different solid ground, or to a shaky ground that you learn to understand and use to your advantage. So take this moment and look at yourself, look at your business: are you lost at sea? If so, you know what you have to do. Do it, before you drift so far away that it’s hard to even see any solution, any solid ground, anything for that matter.