I tend to approach the ocean with a niggling sense of dread (a shark was spotted at our beach last week). Yesterday, it was raining—not tropic-soft but pelting and persistent—and there was the small matter of the high surf advisory, but we put the boards on the bikes anyway. I've grown accustomed to what I call #LifeWithA (my fiancé). He likes to do things that make him feel alive. As fate would have it, so do I—ever since the Scrambler at Adventureland in the western suburbs of Chicago, circa 1973.
There were about a dozen of us out there, so my fear abated as soon as I got past the beach breaks to join the line-up. Surely, the sharks will go for the others, is always the thinking. It was by far the most fun I've had on my longboard to date and a potent reminder of why we are here: to experience this charged coordinate of epic, raw grandeur. To be baptized, defibrillated, again and again, by the elements.
This would also explain why I agreed to sign up for a triathlon on the North Shore in May even though I can't swim freestyle. (My sidestroke is at once laughable and effective.) It's a sprint tri, so you can basically lean forward and finish BUT the swim is in the ocean and, yes, my primary emotion is fear. I've done triathlons in lakes and I'm hoping that having several hundred people next to me will propel me along. #tbd
Finally, negotiating discomfort would explain why I said yes when my friend invited me to an improv acting class last night—FAR more daunting than head-high waves. It was decidedly out of my comfort zone and, indeed, grist for the feeling-alive-inside mill. which is to say is was a complete mitzvah. So much laughter, discomfort and connection, all in one hour for $15. Better than therapy. Strong recommend.
To saying yes, that is.