I absolutely love this picture and this memory of me sea kayaking just a few short years ago in 2011! I felt so alive! It was absolutely thrilling! Thrilling in a way that I’d never experienced before! It was something I had been wanting to do, as a bucket list item, but had never done before and had no training for. I had gone kayaking before a few times, but only in calm water in a kayak that wouldn’t overturn if you tried, and for short, more leisurely distances. I did not know how to roll in the kayak, which is the most important thing you must know how to do, esp. when sea kayaking out in the ocean, far from the shore. I had never even tried to roll in any kayak. I had never been in a kayak like that before, its a trick just getting into it, its so very snug and small to get into, and once inside it feels like you cannot move your legs, which is how its supposed to feel. But if you’re not used to it, and you need to get out in a hurry, its one more thing to think about why this might not be a good idea, yet I couldn’t wait for my new adventure, throwing caution to the wind, I just felt like I needed to do this. Even if I knew how to roll in another type of kayak, I would have needed specific practice knowing how to roll in this type of kayak because it is such a different experience and requires a much greater level of skill, experience, knowledge and practice. Yet I wasn’t afraid, just excited, and aware of the possibilities, which is important in any adventure.I felt so alive, like never before. It was the very best feeling. I want that feeling again. I want to feel this feeling again and again in my life. I don’t want to be so busy with all my many responsibilities that 4 years go by since I’ve done something like this for myself.
That day turned out to be both fabulous and treacherous. We kayaked all day to different light houses, got out and explored a bit at each one. I did exactly what my very experienced friend told me to do, he said keep your core strong at all times and it will balance you not to roll over. He said I was a natural at it, and said it looked like I’d done it before. He also said the weather looked great for all day, but that as we all know weather can change and if it did, he said he would save me if anything happened. That made me feel good and safe because I trusted him and knew he was highly experienced and capable. I felt like I was in the best of hands and I felt very thankful for this new exciting adventure I was about to embark on in the very best hands, equipment, and conditions. Well, all of a sudden it went from a very good and perfect day to a very stormy, treacherous and scary day. The weather quickly changed and dramatically, from gorgeous perfect blue skies and relatively calm sea as much as a sea is calm, there were still big waves of course but that’s the ocean and it was manageable. But the waves became huge and very choppy with the sudden blustery, rain storm, making staying in the kayak very difficult. It had started raining out of no where, we could hear thunder and it was coming closer, quickly. We were in the middle of no where in the ocean at the time, not close to land, we could not see land at all. I did what he told me to do, which was I kept my core so very tight, that no matter how hard those waves tried to knock me down, I very thankfully stayed up somehow. I thank God for this miracle, as I know it was God who saved me that day. It was very stormy, and yet to say that seems like an understatement. Its safe to say that there aren’t many storms like this one, especially being out in the ocean makes the storm worse to anyone in a tiny little kayak, even though it was the largest kayak I’ve ever been in, it was small in comparison to how the ocean just tossed us about once the storm hit. It was so stormy that my very experienced friend, who has kayaked all over the world, and in extremely challenging conditions, for many many years, and owns several kayaks each valued more than some people’s cars, well, He fell into the water, not once, but twice, because it was that treacherous. He was able to get back into his kayak each time but he later told me it was extremely challenging and that he wasn’t sure if he could get back in the kayak the last time it threw him from the boat. He said the waves kept attacking him violently and every time he tried to get back in the boat it would knock him back in the water. Somehow I kept going as fast as I could, faster than I’d ever gone before and stayed afloat. I couldn’t see exactly where I was going, all I could see was huge crashing waves and heavy rain and surrounded by water, no land in sight. I only had one thought on my mind during this time, I knew I could not let the kayak roll into the water,or I would surely die. I believed this because I knew how very snug and tight it was to get into the kayak to begin with, and how disoriented I would likely be, upside down under the water, stuck in the boat. I knew that you must actively make sure you get your legs and body out of the kayak, while upside down under the water.I knew I would be stuck in the boat and my legs would not just fall out of the boat to safety. The boat is tight around you to begin with, then you wear a skirt on top of it, as they call it, on the kayak that further straps you into the kayak so as to keep water out while you are sea kayaking, because although we kayaked initially in relatively calm waters most of the day before this happened, part of sea kayaking is that the waves lapping up against the kayak and rocking the boat, would otherwise quickly fill with water even under mild conditions. Without the skirt, that snaps in, and completely encloses you into the kayak in a water tight seal, the kayak would fill with water, weigh you down and sink you. It was a raging storm, like I’d never experienced before. I’d never been out in a small boat in the ocean during a big storm like that either, so that has a lot to do with it too, but even so, it was a raging storm. I knew I absolutely had to stay afloat. I kept a very tight core, thankfully stayed afloat and made it to an island, where I stayed for a while, not knowing at the time, where my friend was, or what I should do, if I should go try to find him or stay put. He eventually made it to the island. I’m not sure how long it took, because it felt longer but was maybe 15 minutes. He then told me all the trouble he had unexpectedly and that I had done exactly the right thing by getting to safety and waiting for him.
I absolutely loved that thrilling adventure. Live life to the fullest. Although I have definitely done many things in my life that I am living life to the fullest, does not mean I cannot improve upon that. I intend to make sure I live life to the fullest even more, no matter all my many responsibilities I have, we all have busy lives, commitments, money issues, etc. but all I am encouraging you to do is not wait for someday. Please live your life today. Tomorrow is never promised. Live life to the fullest to feel fit forever. #feelfitforever