The back and forth. The ins and outs. The high tides and the low tides.
Constant. Always present waves of our day to day.
I know this. I’ve lived this. I’ve had the manageable low tide moments and I’ve also been taken under by numerous high tides. Yes, even with this knowledge, I still manage to be taken under.
It’s almost as if my ability to tread water is instantly removed when the tides change. A change that happens regularly and quite often.
Since it’s a constant moving sea, why does it always get to me?
As I went along with my regular Wednesday night routine, somewhere in between the squat reps and the over-the-head weight press I had a sudden surge of panic.
I looked around and all I could see was an endless life of Wednesday nights in a class full of sweaty gym goers. Pumping weights, pushing through the burning muscles and the tired limbs. The same ol’ repetitious routine of 2, 4 and 8 count reps. Every week, every Wednesday.
Without warning, the tides surged on me and I was flooded with an overwhelming feeling of being stuck. Always in the same place, always the same time.
For a long, long time.
As the salty water choked me and I floundered for air, I felt my body want to leave. To walk out of that room and find air.
I was suffocating. The crashing high tide this time would surely take me under. Here I was, on my own and treading water at all times. And that damn high tide rushes in and I’m tossed head over heals with anxiety.
The room suddenly became warm and I needed to leave.
In through the din of rushing water and my heart beating in my ears, I heard the instructor remind us to breathe. To inhale on the way down and exhale as we extended our weights over our heads.
There is was. The simplest of instructions. An action my body did involuntarily but was apt to forget in my greatest moments of upheaval and stress.
So I did. I took a deep breath and released it from the bottom of my belly. In and then out, releasing everything in me.
The sadness, the fear, the panic and the feelings of treading this unforgiving ocean of constant waves on my own with no life preserver to keep me a float.
I blew the air out and found my head clearing and my thoughts settle.
I would be ok. I have always been ok. With or without the life vest, I would be ok.
Angrily, the tides rushed back and settled low around my ankles, disappointed in their failed attempt to take me down into the murky depths.
I pushed up and exhaled then took in a clean breath as I lowered my weights.
I was ok. I would always be ok.