Did you ever have a life dream or something you wanted to cross off your bucket list and while you were working on it, it was far from what you expected. It felt more like a nightmare! Well let me share one such painful moment I recently experience that turned out to be a nightmare at first and what I did to fix it.
I’ve always had a dream of paddle boarding; it looked like so much fun! I would often see people going up and down the rivers and lakes on them. They looked to be having so much fun. To me, it looked like they were getting a piece of Zen. Who here would like a piece of Zen and tranquility in their life? I know I do!
A few years back I had the opportunity to experience paddle boarding, but I shied away from it because the water was much too cold. I’ve got to share with you, I REALLY hate cold water! I can swim but for me cold water is a deal braker. I’m the guy you see who puts one toe in the pool then I take it out then I put a foot, then eventually the leg. Now looking back, this fear or hatred of cold water originated when I was a child playing on the frozen creek which I knew I should not be doing. There’s a West Indian saying my parents would say to my sister and I “if you don’t hear you will feel!” Well as fate would have it, I fell through the ice and I was completely soaked from head to toe. Luckily the water was not deep but unlucky for me it was in the dead of winter, and I had to walk home a few miles in frozen clothing.
Can you image what it was like waking home? My clothes were frozen to me, my hand and limbs were burning from the bitter cold. Each step I took it felt as if my burning limbs were being sawed off by a hack saw. I wanted to rest but I knew that if I did hyperthermia would set in. When I finally got home to my horror, I discovered no one was home. To add to my horror my hands would not open to get the key out of my frozen pocket. I had completely lost the feelings in my hands and fingers.
I had no other option but to walk to one of my friend’s house who was many block away for help. Luckily, he was home, and I warmed up by this heater and eventually restored the feelings in my hands and fingers. I never told my parents or my sister for fear of the scolding I would receive.
Now that you have some context to my disdain for cold water, I will proceed with my story. Fast forward to today, I met my friend at the lake with his paddle board to accomplish my long-life dream. I was looking forward to experiencing that Zen moment I shared earlier.
Our maiden voyage started out with us sitting on the paddleboard with our legs stretched out like in a kayak position. To sum up the start of our voyage it was painful. The water was bitterly freezing on the lake, our sitting position was extremely uncomfortable; I started to get leg cramps and hip cramps. It was the perfect scenario of sink or swim. Sometimes that is the position we put ourselves in when we’re working on our dreams. I feel the Universe is testing us on just how bad we want to accomplish a dream.
As a side note, have if ever told you just how much I hate cold water?
Well those emotions I experienced way back when I fell through the ice started to flood back to me as my legs and joints continued to burn from sitting in an uncomfortable position and having parts of my legs submerged in that icy cold lake water. Funny how emotions we experienced in the past can come back to haunt us, preventing us from reaching our desired destination. The waves started to get a little choppy was we ventured further out which is expected but my pain intolerance began to grow. Those emotions started to overtake me, and I urged my friend to turn the paddle board and head back to shore. As luck or the Universe would have it, another old friend pulled up next to us on his own fluttered board. It was great reconnecting with him. Both of my friends encouraged me to continue my original journey, it was two against one and I was not in a position to jump off and swim back to shore being the water being so cold.
Reluctantly we continued (as I complain every stroke of my paddle). Did I ever tell you how much I hate the cold? LOL. Painful as it was it was a great experience and I feel I would do it again under two conditions; One that I have my own paddle board and two we go out on a hot summer’s day.
Here are three things I learned from my paddle boarding experience:
- No Pain No Gain: There are times in our lives when we would like to do something, but the mental pain stops us from continuing our journey. Embrace the discomfort and push through. It is all mental. Once you do this you will come out from the other end with a better outcome from enduring it. Which connects with my next learning moment.
- We Are The Limits We Place Upon Our Minds: When faced with challenges we need to remember that we are stronger than we think. Reflect on what lessons are to be learned from this experience to grow yourself further. You will not only inspire yourself but others as well by going past your limits. I urge you to continue on your journey of growing yourself.
- Strength In Numbers: If you have others around you supporting and encouraging you will go further. It reminds me of the African Proverb, “It you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.” I would like to send a special shout out to Brother Lance and Brother Mello for being there for me and encouraging me to push through the pain.
In closing, I’ll leave you with this quote by Ian Fleming.
“Never say “No” to adventures. Always say YES, otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life” I hope this video inspires you. Keep moving forward and looking upwards as you work on accomplishing your dreams!