You won’t be surprised when I tell you that I have a lot going on at the moment. Between day-to-day life, work, TheCCC, planning a wedding, renovating a house and subdividing + building a house it’s a fair assumption that when time does become available to switch off and relax, Jamie and I will gladly take it!
Australia Day was no different this year, as it’s always spent for us (when we’re in Australia) beachside. Jamie’s Dad lives south of Perth on the coast, so we headed down and spent the Australia Day weekend with him. The plan consisted of reading, sleeping, catching up, watching the fireworks and relaxing. Oh, and to go for a paddle on the kayaks.
I’ve always grown up on the water, so I am an avid fan of water sport activities. Kayaking I actually hadn’t done before, but I have surf-ski’d and canoed…yes, apparently there is a difference between them all. I was super excited as I’ve heard so much about the area that we were planning on paddling to, and the morning we woke up to do it was amazing – bright, sunny and hot. And windy.
Being the long legged babe that I am (ha! Sooooo not) my legs didn’t quite reach the pedals, so I had to sit further forward than most normal sized people. Because we’re going out into the ocean and into the wind, these kayaks have pedals so that you can turn left or right without solely relying on your upper body strength to paddle one direction or the other.
Off we went from a protected beach area, and started paddling toward the point. The wind was coming in behind us, which was awesome to give me that extra momentum – between my little legs, average upper body strength and figuring out how to get the foot pedals to work when, it was handy to have the wind on my side.
Weaving our way through some rocky outcrops and along the coastline, I realised just how beautiful our part of the world was. The water was so clear, the beaches were packed with friends and family enjoying the day out together – it was just good vibes all round! We even spotted a wedding on the beach.
Once we got to where we were going, we pulled onto the sand to set up our picnic and to enjoy the sunshine, the water views and people watch. It truly was so magical. I was also pretty chuffed with myself that I had made it without so much as a hitch. Jamie had a few falls into the water, and I only nearly missed a rock! Haha…because I freaked out that the rock was coming at me, which of course meant that I forgot my left and right!
Time to head back, and into the wind. I knew it was going to be tough work, but I also knew that I could handle it. I was right, it was tough. I literally felt like I wasn’t moving. The wind was so strong, and for every paddle that I pushed into the water – left side, right side, left side, right side – I knew that I would have to muster up far more energy to get me through the 45 minute (at least) paddle home still to go.
The waves were getting stronger, the wind was getting stronger and my mind was too. I was actually surprised. Not that I’m ever one to give up easily, but I’ll totally admit that when I feel like I’m not going anywhere, I’ll usually reassess my options to figure out a plan b rather than continuing to run at a brick wall. For some reason though, I just kept pushing through. Because we were hugging the coast line, there were actually plenty of places for me to pull in, give up on the paddle and get picked up by a car. But I didn’t want that.
My mind always has a million and one things keeping it busy, and at the moment with the houses and our upcoming wedding, a lot of that is stress related. I literally turned this challenge of the paddle into the strong winds, into a way of battling all the stress that I have going on in my life. The fresh air and exercise allowed for a clear mind, and a clearer perspective on my circumstances, and I guess because I truely had to focus on the task at hand I was able to mentally kick away all the things that stressed me out so I could give my energy to the challenge ahead.
Sounds silly? Maybe. But to me, it made me realise that I don’t have to give up and that I don’t always have to be a planner and have plans ‘b’, ‘c’ and ‘d’ incase ‘a’ fails, as the only way the first plan is going to fail is if I don’t push through and keep trying. Great things come from facing fears, and although I wasn’t fearful of the water, falling off the kayak, or hitting the rocks (okay, that I was totally worried about) the fear that I faced on Friday was actually the fear of NOT getting things done the way I envisioned them to happen. Sure, not everything is in our control and I totally get that, but what we can do is flip our mind frame so that our thoughts allow for our well laid out plans can happen, even if we need to pivot slightly to the left or right when the wind gets strong.