Sunday, September 26, 2010

Against the Wind

After having a near-death experience this week, due to my own stupidity (why are you not surprised?), I am savoring every minute that I have on this earth.

Oh? Did I forget to post about my terrifying, heart-palpitating horrendishly-horrible experience? I guess I did. Oops.

I can blame my stupidity on my OCD. That "Type-A" personality that I was cursed with.

I kayak on Tuesdays and Thursdays...other days, if I have time...but on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That, dear readers, is a given. That's my OCD at work.

And so, this past Thursday, I woke up, threw on some clothes, strapped on my life jacket, and hopped into my kayak.

My OCD also tells me that I must go counter-clockwise around the lake...and so, I turn left when I leave my dock, and begin paddling.

I soon realize that I have a pretty good wind behind me, and it's pushing me right along down the shoreline of the lake...I am going so fast, I have a sense that I am flying. This is feeling pretty good!

Midway down the shoreline, I turn to the right, so I can cut across the lake and begin paddling up the other side. Wow. That wind is getting stronger...blowing me from the side, now - creating little white caps on the water. It's starting to concern me a little. Why didn't I notice this wind before?

I reach the other shoreline and begin paddling...and here is where the trouble begins. I am now paddling into the wind - and we're talking a steady wind of probably 25-30 mph.

I stroke once, and instead of moving forward, I'm being blown backwards. Away from my house. Away from my dock. I stroke harder, faster, and I'm barely creeping along. This is not good.

I paddle as fast and as hard as I can, not taking a break at all - a break of a few seconds can cost me 15 feet of progress...the waves are rocking the boat from side to side, and I fear I will be dunked before this is all over. I don't know how to swim; I'm terrified of water - but I do, thank God, have my life jacket on.

At some point, I begin to slightly panic, as I realize I'm never going to make it, and I'm going to be stranded - possibly forever - in the middle of the lake. No one else is on the lake - no one was stupid enough to venture out in conditions like this - and so I will be all alone.

Yes, I was being dramatic. But, you would be, too, when faced with your own demise.

After my one-minute pity/panic party, I took a deep breath, and said, "Just DO it." (with acknowledgement to Nike). And so I crazy...never taking my eyes off of the prize - my dock. One breath in, stroke. One breath out, stroke. Over and over and over again.

Against the wind. Through the rolling waves.

And eventually, I made it. I touched my dock. I was home. It took an hour of constant paddling - and my arms are now jelly - but I was home. Whew. No capsizing in the lake.

Lesson learned: Weather conditions trump my OCD.



1 comment:

Jenny said...

I know this adrenaline rush. How scary, DQ. You must have been totally panicked. I loved that you can go out your door and just do this!