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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Stroke, Focus, Kick, Focus, Repeat

Recently, I had a near death experience. A real one, the kind where you see death staring at you in the face and you dig down into your soul and make an important decision about life....which is to just live it.  Its that conscious decision to listen to your lizard brain and say, yeah let's keep going.

I had been swimming in the ocean and I had a sudden bout of hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar usually comes on very quickly and being 200 yards from shore rapidly seemed like two miles. All of a sudden each stroke became harder and harder, each kick felt like I was dragging a lead weight behind me. A sudden chill of fear went down my body and the adrenaline boost proceeded to burn up the  little bit of energy left in my body. Focus....stroke...focus...kick...focus....stroke....do you want this? You could just settle down into the warm turquoise Atlantic and float away. Focus. ...stroke...focus....kick..
..focus....stroke...focus....kick.

Obviously, I made it back to shore and found some energy bars in my bag.  I was jarred for quite awhile. I sat quietly wondering about life. I have a wonderful one...great husband, friends, good job, nice house....everything I ever dreamed of and asked for. Now would be a good time to go...when things are really great. 

But the one thing I have learned since I was given a terminal diagnosis at 20 and told I had less than three years to live, is that you do just that: you live. 25 years later here I am, and life just keeps getting better.  When things get hard, dangerous or threatening: focus, stroke and kick till you get to shore.