Rest(less) Days


Currently, my mermaid’s wave count is higher than mine


Large chunks of skin went missing from the soles of my feet Wednesday afternoon. I expected the sand would be hot. (We held our barefoot soccer match in under the late South African sun, after all.) I also expected that others would be grimacing with the same intensity as me if they were experiencing the same kind of pain running barefoot on this surface. Everyone else seemed fine, so I continued to play through the pain.

When I finally looked at the bottom of one foot, I found a large blister had formed and burst, and the flap of broken skin was now encrusted in sand. The ball of my right foot was even worse. I hobbled to the edge of water lining one side of the field and attempted to rinse out my wound.

Five days, several Dettol baths, and many betadine applications later, I’m still sidelined.  I’m grateful to have avoided infection, but I’m itching to get back in the water. I don’t want to miss surf sessions unnecessarily; yet, going in too soon will only further delay my recovery.  Since the conditions aren’t great today — and my gut says wait — I’m sitting out today.

This hiatus seems to be reminding me:

  • Listen to my body I’ve ignored my intuition on several occasions during this trip and ended up regretting it every time.
  • There will be time I tend to make each surf session or even each wave overly precious, as if there’s a limited supply. This scarcity mindset fuels my need for control, undermining my ability to let go, and ultimately, my performance.
  • I am exactly where I’m supposed to be  I choose to believe that everything is happening as it should, whether or not I agree, approve, or understand it. I trust that eventually, the dots will connect. (Even if that happens long after my human form paddles out for the last time.)

In addition to these reminders, I can already see that this time out has pressed a giant reset button in my brain.

While sitting in the hammock writing this, one of my coaches came by to check my progress. Based on tomorrow’s forecast, I may be ready to shred before the Atlantic is. “We’ll likely schedule a rest day, but then we’ll get you back in the water ASAP. We miss you!”

I know. The feeling is mutual.