Strong Currents

Today was the first day this season that we have not had an epic storm on my day off, so I was determined to take my wetsuit north to walk the board. It is only 45 degrees out today (in the middle of June!), so anyone who dares to surf in this has got to be pretty diehard.

However, emergency alerts came through saying that the Coast Guard has declared no boating, swimming, or other water recreation in this weather due to high winds, strong currents, and unpredictable undertow.

Now, pretty much any surfer will tell you that riding the waves coming in on a storm is pretty epic. However, I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid. If the Coast Guard says no water sports, then I’m not about to become another casualty of bizarre weather conditions.

So, I’m spending my day off at home, yet again, realizing that there are some pretty strong currents in life itself that manifest in other ways.

Strong currents are usually indicative of danger. Stay out of the water so you don’t drown or crash. Yet, there are some experiences that run strong currents in our lives, and instead of being threatening, actually serve to anchor us in times of need.

It could be a familiar routine from childhood that makes us feel safe. Notice patterns in ways we react in times of stress. What calms and soothes you? Have you gotten into the adult coloring craze? Do you reach for the remote for some mindless TV or head to the movies? Some of these activities may be strong undercurrents in our lives that help us to cope when life is hard and overwhelming.

For me, one of my strong currents is running. I am now in week 2 of my training for medal # 15. While it is challenging to get back in the groove of training, it brings some much needed consistency and structure to my life. Running is something on which I depend no matter how I am feeling in life – happy, sad, tired, excited. Running has been the backdrop to both some of my best and some of my worst moments in life.

I’ve said that every major decision I’ve made in life has been made while running. This is mostly true. I’ve had some creative and powerful ideas while running that have helped me to navigate many obstacles in my life.

While some currents in life are generally positive, like running, we are bound to have some strong currents that are not-so-positive as well. These are negative coping skills in which we engage and continue to cling to, even though we know they may be bad for us.

Be crazy, but not stupid. It’s better to go with the strong currents than to get dragged into the undertow. Be sure the coping skills you are using are going to actually get you through adversity from point A to point B without pulling you under and making you drown.

What strong currents are carrying you along? Is the current pushing you forward, or are you being dragged down by the undertow?

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