Facing the ocean with 25 Eagles at my back I have never felt safer doing something that scared me so badly. I had spent most of my life avoiding water deeper than hip deep.
As I child reoccurring dreams of death by drowning interrupted my sleep.
As an adult, after graduating high school, I taught myself to swim in the shallow end of a pool.
So fast forward to Team RWB Southeast Regional Triathlon and Leadership Camp in Daytona Beach, FL.
I stood on the beach listening to our coach, Rob Wallace
teaching us how to enter open water, specifically ocean. A storm a few days out was creating larger than normal waves, wind, serf.
Coach Wallace told us that had this been an actual triathlon most race directors would call off the swim portion because of the waves.
To get under the waves instead of fighting them we were instructed to "porpoise dive" under the wave right before it hit. So this porpoise diving was the only thing I planned on practicing. Hence I would have this brave new experience without getting too far out into the deep, strong waves.
Teams of five would enter the ocean, high step till the water was thigh deep then start diving under the waves. Coach would advise us on shore using the group ahead as an example on how to manage the challenges.
My turn, oh crap! I'm not even interested in triathlon (I love hanging around passionate people). This is part of my summer of living bravely.
The waves insistently pushed toward shore as the sand underneath our feet slid away urging us out to sea.
3, 2, 1 and go!
High stepping and diving under waves is hard work! for body and will.
As I practiced these new skills I knew I could do it. Well, I knew I was safe. All I had to do was look behind me at who had my back.
It is an odd feeling being so scared and feeling so safe at the same time. The mood allowed for a whole hearted effort.
I hope others can experience this secure foundation in which to launch themselves into something way outside their comfort zones.
Elite lifeguard, coach, lifeguard trainer, half a dozen elite to very good swimmers,
The atmosphere of Team RWB is one that has to be experienced. The lack of experience and skill is a non-issue, Team RWB leaders teach, lead, love.