There are many things in my life that I know are meant to go together, such as: crunchy peanut butter & a spoon, salted caramel gelato & crispy bacon, graham crackers & dark chocolate & marshmallows on fire, Jacki Carr & Chris Hynes, red wine & 5 o’clock, refillable popcorn & movies, and finally, beer & bowling.
This weekend, I experienced beer & bowling. I will have you know, I am gluten-free and I rarely partake in beer as my drink of choice. However, as the pairing goes – last night was an exception and so much fun. With that being said, the morning to follow was awful. My body was absolutely furious: I woke up congested in my left nostril, stomach growling obscenities at me and my head had a full drumline pounding in the temple region and beyond.
I could see the sunshine seeping in through the sides of the blinds and I immediately regret every glass of that cheap beer. Disappointment envelopes me as I foresee a full day in bed and the Great Outdoors being experienced only in a John Hughes film. Sigh. But all of a sudden, in that moment of regret, I hear a song. A great song. It started with … “drop me in the water”…. and then, “take me to the river”….”drop me in the water”. I know this re-make from Talking Heads, but what does it mean?
The ocean. One mile away from my front door. Yes, I needed to submerge pronto. Giddy up.
I chugged a glass of water followed by a can of coconut water. I stumbled to put on running clothes, find my keys and get each toe figured out in the Vibrams. I open the door blinded by summer smells and California sunshine and I channel Forrest Gump and “I was runnin”.
Now, let me tell you something, along my run, I just kept singing to myself “drop me in the water” and I started all out sprinting. Sidewalk strollers, hand-in-hand couples, bikers who are, for some reason, on the sidewalk – get out of my way!
I finally see the Ocean from the sand’s edge, I rip off the Vibrams, remove my tank top and throw them in the sand and jet all the way into that ice cube of the Pacific Ocean. The waves crash down on me and I immediately feel amazing. I immediately feel more than brand new and submerge my head in the water again and again. I start to come to and realize the water temperature, but in this moment, I could care less. Man, I feel so alive!
I walk out of the water and sit on the sand for a moment – to actually take in the moment. It all happened so fast. Salt water rushes down my short hair and out of my eyes, sand itches my ears and exfoliates my feet, and onlookers must be saying “that girl’s crazy” which I can only imagine by “crazy”, they really mean “awesome”.
I smile. Stand up. I walk back through the sand to gather my belongings strewn everywhere. I obviously did not think through the shoe choice, as wet feet + sand are not the perfect pairing with the five fingers that are Vibrams. I pull my tank over atop my head and it immediately begins to soak up the salt water, and I’m off sprinting again. Back home to rock this sunny day.
What an epic moment.
How did I hear that song? How did I know Nature’s cure to a hangover really is the Ocean?
Is this what being present feels like?
Turn on your inner listening, tune into your life and listen to your body. It knows, the body always knows.