I parked my car, threw my keys under the seat, grabbed my fins from the trunk, and walked across the street, leaving my car unlocked, towards the beach. The clouds glowed with the setting sun behind them, and the waves looked to be glassy, clean, and scattered up and down the entirety of the beach. My woes gone, and my aches and pains with them.
The day leading up to this was hard and left me deflated and hopeless. By the time I got home my body and back hurt so bad that I felt nauseous. When I walked in the door after work I grabbed several ice packs and plopped down in my computer chair defeated. My friend calls my ability to push the limits of my pain threshold “grit.” I prefer to think I’m just too stupid to recognize when the game is lost.
Movement has become such an integral part of who I am and how I express myself that the injury has taken quite a toll on me, leaving me feeling lost and hopeless, like a caged bird. I found a way to resume my expression by returning to the ocean.
That entire day at work I was fueled by the prospect of getting in the water afterward, and it took all the grit I could muster to get my ass up and out of that chair and on my way to the beach that evening.
I crossed the soft sand, and soon the hard sand, and then my toes dipped into the warm pacific water and my face erupted in a shit eating grin, my eyes sparking back to life. Perfect water temps, and the clouds on the distant horizon lined silver, contrasted by a picturesque golden sky.
Knee high in the water I passed by a random dude and asked him, “Is this a dream?” He grinned back like a madman possessed by the magic only a beautiful sunset provides–the kind of magic that gives young boys the courage to pursue their first loves. And then, like a boy possessed by a first kiss, I dove into life and let its waters take me.
I swam with the intensity of desperation and chased the fiery pink and orange sky on the horizon as if I could actually catch it, and the waves turned on–I leaned my head back, spread my arms as wide as I could, a silhouette against the horizon, and screamed up at the exploding sky in some strange primal language of passion. The whole time I couldn’t help but feel like I had won the lottery, like I scored on the best opportunity that life could offer at that moment.
A magic moment, a life changing instant, and to think that I almost forfeited it in favor of a shitty leather computer chair and self-pity.