Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Going Beyond a Comfort Point

How many times, have I stated, that beyond comfort zones, possibilities lieEach time I said this, I truly believed that people need to conquer lingering fears and move forward in life. Believing is not as difficult as doing. This Labor Day weekend would prove if I could move beyond my fears.

It was a glorious day on the Chesapeake Bay. I watched people kayaking and paddle boarding in the calm waterThe sun shone brightly over fishing boats urging them to move from the marina toward open waters. I felt peaceful. The water was calm as it slid into shore. Everyone seemed to be relaxing and enjoying the halcyon days of summer.

The photo was taken by my husband as he sat on the shore.

A question broke the silence. Would you like to join the family while we kayak? 

Of course, I said, "I never kayaked before." 

The underlying thought was, I am afraid. I actually heard myself say that out loud. I looked at my little granddaughters and saw they were already suited in their life jackets just waiting for Grandma to join them. Reluctantly, I walked closer to the kayak trying to figure out how I would get into the boat without hurting my legs. I decided to swallow my fear and join the fun. I took a deep breath and moved my body closer. Then, the inevitable happened. In a split second, I went down into the water. Plop! Plunk! Water splashed all over me as I fell backward and sat in the muddy bay. The worst part was that I was wearing shorts, not a bathing suit bottom. Oh, well! I don't really remember what I thought at that instant but I was determined to get up and sit behind my daughter who had her 2 1/2-year-old sitting in front of her. 

"What do I do?" There was a slight sound of whimpering.
"Watch me. Place your paddle in the water starting on the right side."

I followed in total amazement that I was floating above the water. I kept paddling but secretly I thought what happens if the boat tipped over? We gently moved out farther but not past the jetty because I was too nervous on this first ride. As we steered the kayak near the jetty, I saw an amazing scene. There were at least 30 seagulls and other species of birds sitting on the rocks just watching as our kayak drew closer. They were guardians of the rocks but there was no camera to record that happening. Several birds took flight right above us. As they swooshed past us, there was a rush of awe. I was exploring nature with my family from a unique view point of view. 

I was inspired. My thoughts floated into the air as we paddled toward magnificent summer homes on the shore. At this point, I asked if we could return to shore. My thighs were burning and my arms were getting tired from paddling. I thought about all the exercise and yoga classes that promoted persistence. I was strong and determined to make it back to shore but reaching the shore was not the end of the journey. I watched how everyone departed the kayak and wondered if I could do the same without the big plop and plunk again! Since it did not happen, I left the kayak area smiling. I could not wait to share my feeling with my husband.  

beyond the comfort zone, possibilities exist-
 possibilities exist beyond the comfort zone.
©CV, 2022, skinny poem


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  1. Congratulations for overcoming/ignoring your fear and trying out the kayaking. (I'm not sure I could do it, especially since I can't swim.) You included "but secretly I thought what happens if the boat tipped over?" but you let that thought pass. Your description of the scene is lovely.

    1. Thanks for joining me here. To tell you the truth, I can't swim that well but I had the life jacket on and I do wanted to conquer this fear of deep water.

  2. This makes me happy on so many levels. The idea of getting outside your comfort zone and conquering your fears hit home big time for me. Nicely done on getting out there then coming across "guardians of the rocks". It sounded like a lovely float! :)

    1. Thanks, Darin for joining me here. I still cannot get over the image of all those birds just sitting, staring into the water.

  3. Carol, congratulations in overcoming your fear. Fear holds us back and keeps us from exploring the possibilities life has to offer. There is so much we would not see or experience if we let feat rule our lives. You got to share a unique experience with your daughter and granddaughter. You saw a sight you would not have seen had you stayed on shore.

  4. Carol, congratulations on a successful new learning experience! I'm glad you didn't have to plop and plunk again. What a joy that you experienced nature and all the many birds on the rocks on your first kayak outing. Sweet reward for your bravery. Plus, look at the remarkable role model you were for your granddaughters!

  5. I could feel the trepidation in this piece, Carol, and how it wasn't fully gone even after the activity. But you managed to find a moment to cherish in the view from a new perspective! It makes me wonder if you will try kayaking again, or if this experience was enough to say "been there, done that".

  6. Carol! I am so proud of you! I love canoeing, and one of the best parts is seeing wildlife from the perspective of the canoe on water. It is quiet and peaceful and just... the best! I hope you will have more chances, and that it becomes more fun each time.

  7. Yay! Trying something new and intimidating is so brave and I'm so glad you enjoyed the experience. Your piece really captures both your hesitation and the pride you feel in your accomplishment. Well done!

  8. I've been thinking of this quote a lot since school started: "There is no growth in the comfort zone." It's true, You illustrate that beautifully here with your story and poem. I see the link to your faith - for a moment, the words "believe" and "possibility" took me beyond the boat to Peter walking on the water...thank you always for being such a tremendous inspiration and encourager, my friend!