Friday, July 15, 2011

Tipping over

(this image is from

What has been a very good week got a little messy this morning. It seems when I leave my world of knitting and porch sitting and take risks, I do it with tension. My knitting world is so very under my control. If I like it and it looks good, I keep knitting it. If it gets messy I frog it.

There is no frogging when you are in a kayak and the waves start up. There was only imagined danger when I look back upon it. I never capsized, the water was cold but ridiculously shallow and my insistence upon staying immediately astride the shore was what got me stuck to begin with.

The worst of the story is that I yelled and I swore and an entire shoreline could have heard me.
Fireman who is the best of friends in the worst of times, kept his unshakeable cool. He was smart enough not to say much. "Lets' go back" he agreed as we maneuvered directions and acknowledged our predicament. So we did.

I was drenched and paddling more lake in the kayak than was probably around me. It all felt lousy. I wasn't perfect. I wasn't even ladylike. The compliment of the day before, that Fireman said he had trouble keeping up with me in the kayaks as I could paddle so strongly, was evaporated in shame. Can we go home now?

But we didn't. We drove a short way to the other shore where the winds were calm and the bay was protected. And we paddled and my nerves settled over 2 hours of beautiful time. When I was
stuck on the rocks and angry I kept thinking, YOu dont take someone with an anxiety disorder into the waves, damn it. But who was I saying this to? I needed to say it to myself. I have to captain my own boat.

So I got upset. Upset with myself for playing it so safe it ended up nearly tipping me.
Upset that I wasn't the Patagonia girl in the ad. UPset at the wind? Silly. Seriously silly.
No You don't take your boat into the waves when you are me.

I like quiet water paddling. I like porch sitting . I like knitting. I also like thinking about the STUFF after it happens and unraveling the twisted yarn that is me.

What happened out there my knit friends?


Beverly said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with pushing past your comfort zone you just have to be able to accept the consequences.

I've never kayaked but I remember how it was when I started roller blading. It wasn't easy and piece of cake like everything else I had done and I found myself cursing and angry at my skates. I realized that I'm the one who controls the inanimate object, got myself together and sailed right on through.

Everything can't be easy or under our control. If it was how would we learn anything.

Nancy said...

One line from your post struck home for me: I have to captain my own boat. It is advice that I am going to ponder this weekend.

I'm a quiet water kind of gal, too.

Jennifer said...

Yikes - it sounds like a rough time - but I'm very glad you got through it and were self-aware (at least after the fact.). I think that's a huge accomplishment. Hugs!

Allison said...

Oh gosh, many things about this post are familiar from my love-hate relationship with running. I can stick to a slow jog that doesn't tire me out, and I like to work out on the treadmill at the gym, but when I go out in public, by the lake, to actually run, if I'm not doing it perfectly and easily within the first few minutes I get totally frustrated with myself and I switch to walking. Angrily.
Why do we put these expectations on ourselves to be good at things immediately?
Thanks for raising the question and sharing your experience - glad it turned out to be relaxing in the end :)

SissySees said...

Reminds me of canoes and my father. He loved to make me nervous and afraid we were going to "tump". He was a master with an oar, and I just never learned to love it. I loved sharing it with him, but it wasn't my cup of tea.

Now white water rafting? LOVED that in my 20s...

We all learn differently, don't we?

Katherine said...

Thank the waves of life for a clear understanding of ourselves! Bless you for giving it a second try. Don't beat yourself up for preferring slow and easy to rocky waves!

BTW: Kayaks make me feel closed in but sailing feels open and free. Give me wind and waves and a sailboat and I'm happy! Not so much in a kayak.

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