I love the beach. The sun beating down, heating the sand so I couldn’t wait for my bare soles to reach the cool wet sand by the water. Ah, the water. How nice it was when the waves crashed, then shrank and slowed into a shallow pass over my feet, as I wiggled my toes into the sand. I was so happy there. I hated even waiting while I was lathered with the greasy sunblock. I was so focused on grabbing my board and running into the water. I was already seeing myself trying to use the board to hop over the incoming waves. The plan was to swim out to the larger ones that I would use to ride all the way in to the beach. Then I would swim out and do it all over again. Amazing!
But this one time…(Right? There’s always that one time.)…I swam out and saw really big waves forming. I lined up to catch one of these huge waves, or so I thought. The wave crashed right on top of me. I felt the weight of the wave, its dense pressure of water, push me far underwater. I remember not wanting to open my eyes, because the salt water would burn, but a split second later I instinctively opened them anyway. All I saw was green-blue murkiness. I was distressed, yet somehow calm at the same time. I somehow knew I should float to the surface. I couldn’t be that far under right? To my somewhat relief I was right, only to find out it wasn’t that I felt the water was pushing me deep, but rather out. I found myself quite a bit farther out than I felt comfortable with. Should I wave and yell? The life guard should see me. Then I told myself that I could swim that. I’d be tired, but I could do it. I felt a tug on my wrist, I still had my boogie board. So I started kick paddling my way towards the beach again. But as I paddled I felt the current seemingly pull me back out to about where I was a moment before. On top of that, the current was bringing diagonally from how I was swimming. I couldn’t not swim. The thought of not being able to bob below water and touch sand was beyond disconcerting, it was riddling me with anxiety. Between that and the current, I couldn’t stop swimming. I didn’t want to yell for help and have them row out to me. No, I swam. I kicked and paddled myself back to shore. I was so happy to feel sand, the water was swallowing out. My legs were so tired, I was trudging across the sand. I made my way to my beach towel, thankfully under the shade of the beach umbrella and collapsed. By the way, it’s awesome that people walk up and down the beach with cold drinks and ice cream!