Making Nice With Obstacles

To swim or not to swim.  That is the question.

Do you do something you know you need to do - not because you should but because deep desire won't accept anything less?  Do you do that even when the obstacles keep coming?


Allow me to make something well known: I do not consider myself a "swimmer".  I can keep my head above water.  After several months of training, I'm able to do a few laps in a pool with a form that at least feels like I'm "swimming".  But I've never been trained; never taken the time to study with a teacher who could teach me the formals of proper movement in the water.

That perception makes this weekend even more interesting.

Having officially signed up for my first triathlon (which quickly approaches), it was about time to practice swimming in open water.  (i.e. not a pool.)  

Allow me to make something else well known: I do not like open water.  I love the rhythm of the waves in the ocean but am secretly creeped out by the thought of fishes bumping against my leg.  The shimmer of a lake is gorgeous from the shore but I am openly creeped out by the dark depths.

That perception makes my practice even more interesting.

After much planning, yesterday was the day.  I'd gone out of town, arranged childcare (thanks mom), and even recruited my brother to be a set of eyes in case I'd happen to cramp up mid-swim.  We'd planned for an early-morning meet-up (to avoid summer heat and inner anxiety).  

Right before heading out, I decided to call the beach of the lake we were going to.  A recorded message broke the news: The beach and swimming areas were closed that day for a rowing competition.

Nearly 30 minutes and several web searches later, I found a do-able alternative (though it meant driving an hour away).  Breathing in and trying to release tension, we all re-set plans.

This time, a neighbor broke the news: My car, setting peacefully in the driveway, had a flat tire.

After assistance from AAA (auto service), a last-minute appointment at a service station to repair the tire and remove the screw, more kind-hearted rearranging from family, and a meatless cheeseburger from McDonalds (yeah - yum)....I suddenly realized how fortunate I am.

That perception makes my life quite enjoyable.

Plans completely altered, I still made it to the lake.  And I completed my first attempt at a swim in open water.  (More on that in another post...wisdom galore in those waves.)

I could say, "despite my obstacles, I pushed on".  But my day didn't exist despite my obstacles.  It existed because of them.


I found gratitude because of those who came to my assistance because of the schedule changes and flat tire.  

I found wonder through the eyes of my children who thought a tire-changing was the coolest thing in the world.  

I found kindess through the AAA service person who changed the tire in over 100 degree humidity.

I found love through my mother, my brother and his wife, my sister, and my husband who all pitched in to make my short swim possible.  

I found strength within myself because I woke, experienced my day, and swam.

Without what was ("obstacles" included), I would never be experiencing what is.

And you know what?

What is is pretty awesome.