Sunday, March 11, 2007
Patty Lost Her Bathing Suit Top!
As evidenced by some of my recent blog posts, comments and comments on other blogs over this past couple of months, I have been introspective regarding my attitude, the negative, fearful and passive attitude that I had allowed to encroach upon my mind, body and spirit from January 2006 to early February 2007.
However, this post isn't really about all that, but in thinking of how I operated in fear this past year, I began thinking of how contrary that was as compared to how I really handle circumstances in my life and sometimes they have been really tough, but this post isn't about that either.
Whenever something scares me, really scares me - I don't run - I face it. Why? To get it over with...and often to get it over with we have to go through it. I know this. It is the essence of who I am and how I approach the difficult challenges that we all face in one way or another in our lives. I just ....DIVE in...and this thought led me to the rest of this post.
I grew up by the Jersey shore. I was blessed to have spent many, many days and nights by the sea. I was like a porpoise in the ocean and once in the water, I never wanted to come out. I could frolic all day! :)
I learned early on that to get past the big waves and not get wiped out when the waves crashed, that you HAD to get in there and dive under the wave BEFORE it breaks - otherwise you are slammed down onto the sand and tumbled all about, getting scraped up and sand impacted into every orifice and then some. By the time you emerge, hair is tangled, packed with sand, seaweed and that wayward crab hanging on for dear life too... you look like anything but a glamorous mermaid of the sea. ;) O.K. I never had a crab hanging on to my hair - but the rest is true.
My friends that I am usually with are the more cautious type. Nothing wrong with that - that is their make up. They ever so slowly work their way into the water. If it's too cold, they need to get used to it - slowly. If the waves are big - they need to feel it is safe to go in - slowly.
Truthfully, I didn't like the cold water and dreaded the sensation of being enveloped by what felt like ice water. The huge waves often scared me and timing was everything. However, I knew that If I just did it..just dove in - I was in. I would be past the breaking waves getting used to the water. I would be in, swimming around doing what I really wanted to do.
Face it. Go through it. Enjoy.
So, I'd already be surveying the water while still up on the beach, checking out the size and rhythm of the waves.
I usually went down to the water ahead of everyone else, dove in and would be on the other side of the breaking waves coaxing friends to come in and yes - sometimes even lie, saying it wasn't THAT rough, cold etc. They never believed me anyway - they could see and feel for themselves, but you can't blame a girl for trying. I also liked to kid around A LOT and for some reason thought it was funny to say that I lost my bathing suit top.
This one morning, I headed straight for the water only to stop dead in my tracks because the wave coming in was HUGE - definitely bigger than the big waves I was used to. Remember, that I said timing is everything? Well, I froze - because the wave was so big. I quickly turned to look behind me and then quickly looked back at the wave coming at me, now looming larger than life - my life, anyway. I knew it was too late too run back up the beach. If I just stood there... well.. too late - it would just crush me and probably pound me into the sand, maybe break me. My choice - annihilation vertically - annihilation horizontally - either way, it wasn't going to be good, but I decided annihilation horizontally would be the better choice.... maybe it wouldn't hurt so much.
This was all probably 5 seconds of fast thinking, you know the kind of moment where your life flashes before you in seconds, yet it all seems in slow mo.
I chose to dive in, hoping that I would miraculously come through to the other side, but that was not to be - not that day. No... no,I was destined to become beach entertainment that day. At least I didn't die - I only wanted too.
At the point that I dove in, the wave crashed down on my back. I was scared. I was getting pummeled about by the white water and unable to control anything and I couldn't get above water. I was afraid because I could feel myself getting sucked back down to where the waves break and I couldn't get my breath. And nobody knew. Maybe they were struggling too. I don't know.
It was a beautiful sunny day and there were a lot of people on the beach. While being sucked back down with the frothy white water again, I somehow managed to dig my feet into the sand as the whitewater was rushing back down past me and I started to rise up out of the water.
But, then.... I looked down and saw that my bathing suit top had dropped down below my breasts. It was also very loose and the only reason it was still on me at all is that the straps were still on my shoulders. Evidently the wave that crashed over me also broke the hook that fastened my top closed.
I dropped back down into the whitewater that was now pulling me back down toward where the waves break. This wasn't good. I was hoping to somehow get my bathing suit top back over my breasts but now I was wrestling with the sea and guess who was winning?
It wasn't as bad as that first huge wave, but I was getting knocked about and simultaneously trying to get my bathing suit top back to where it should be. Unfortunately, now I only had one hand free to try to steady myself and get out of the water. Again, every time I thought I covered myself, I started to get up, but then saw my breasts and back down I went and then washed back up the beach and then sucked back down to the breaking water. It was high tide and it was rough.
Remember that I said that I would kid around with friends and tell them that I lost my bathing suit top? Well, evidently...this girl cried wolf just a little to often. They hadn't come in the water yet and didn't realize what was happening with me. When I saw them, and while I was still struggling, I shouted to them that I lost my bathing suit top. They didn't believe me. In the middle of all this I was shouting that I really did and needed help. They laughed, but then my one friend (you know who you are) realized that I WASN'T kidding when she saw me getting wiped out over and over again.
She went running up to the beach shouting "PATTY LOST HER BATHING SUIT TOP!"
In the mean time, a crowd was now gathering down at the water's edge - watching me. Watching me wash up and down the beach with the white water, gasping for air in between the waves and whitewater pummeling me. I remember seeing everyone's ankles. The water higher up in the sand was maybe 3 '' and I am 5' 8". It must have been a ridiculous sight to behold, but I just couldn't get it together enough to rise up out of the water with top appropriately covering me before being sucked back down - again.
Someone grabbed my hand. I looked up. It was the lifeguard. I quickly pulled it away. Again, the lifeguard tried to grab my hand and I yanked it away, but simultaneously shouting "NO! NO! Leave me alone!" And I got sucked back down into the waves again.
Then I looked up and saw my friend come charging down the beach with a big beach towel. (Normally she would be slow to come in) Not only did she charge down the beach to the water, but she fearlessly ran right in, giving no thought to the size of the waves or the temperature of the water, actually falling in the water - towel and all. She made her way over to me and helped to get the towel around me and helped me get out of the water. We walked past the crowd of onlookers, back up the beach and to the ladies room. We pinned the bathing suit top closed and then went swimming for the rest of the day.
She had forgotten all about herself and just rushed in to help me. When someone really cares about you - that's what they do. They break the barriers that would normally be up, to do whatever they can to help whenever and where ever possible. I hope I am that kind of friend.
Ever since 1996 after I had a right meniscal repair done - I am now cautious around rough tides and waves, not wanting to chance being slammed down on that knee. Actually, I did put that surgery off, but not because I was afraid, but because I thought knee surgery meant I would be laid up for 8 weeks or more. It never occurred to me that it would be an SDS. Two days s/p surgery and I was better than before I had injured it and I had put off seeing the ortho doc for a year.
I guess I am thinking about all of this because I am wondering if I am going to need surgery. I know that I am braver than how I have presented to people that know me. I am feeling pretty good and I still have 4 more weeks to go before the next Mag 3 renal scan. I am believing for good news, but have purposed in my heart, that no matter what the results - I am indeed going forward in whatever direction life leads me and trusting that it will all work out for good.