Life Vests Are Awkward

One of my favorite memories from our recent trip to Oahu is the moment I learned something new about Frank. I always thought he was a mountain man. He loves hiking and exploring and much of our early relationship was founded on trails through the Rockies.

IMG_5457Seeing him in the ocean, I realized he’s not just a mountain guy – he’s a nature guy. Growing up just an hour away from the New Jersey shore, Frank grew up swimming in the ocean and couldn’t wait to dive in.

Even though I grew up in California, swimming in the pacific just wasn’t part of my childhood. We’d go to the beach and play in the waves but the water was cold and the days were often foggy. My idea of a great beach experience includes a sweatshirt and a hot mug of cocoa.

One of the activities was a catamaran and snorkeling excursion. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to learn something new, so I waited to try out snorkeling until we were on the boat. While everyone pulled on flippers and dove into ocean to join a sea turtle feeding on the reef, I was handed an incredibly awkward life vest and told to stay near the lifeguard.

It was a humbling experience. I did not look cute or anything – I looked like an adult in a giant yellow plastic vest. I bobbed on top of the waves. I was kind of self-conscious.

But I’m so glad I tried! I saw beautiful fish. I got to see that sea turtle having a mid-morning snack. I experienced part of the world I never would have seen if I hadn’t just strapped on that vest and jumped in.

It was a reminder that I never look as graceful as I imagine but if I let that stop me, there are many experiences I’d miss out on. I’m learning to take a few more risks, life vest and all.

Have you ever had an experience that was way more awkward than you imagined? What are some risks you’ve taken lately?

Linked with Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “try.”


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Annie Rim

Welcome! I live in Colorado with my family and have taught in the classroom, at an art museum, and now in the playroom. I reflect about life, faith, and books here on my blog.

6 thoughts on “Life Vests Are Awkward”

  1. THIS: “It was a reminder that I never look as graceful as I imagine but if I let that stop me, there are many experiences I’d miss out on. I’m learning to take a few more risks, life vest and all.” And life vests are indeed so awkward!

  2. When we go boating, the rest of my family dons mask and snorkel and dives in. I keep watch on the boat. Fear mixed with frustration has halted me from successfully snorkeling. I can live with that, but I wonder what smaller things I’ve allowed the same fear of ‘not getting it right’ kept me from. Glad you tried, Annie. You were duly rewarded.

    1. I loved your piece about swimming in your post, Debby. Now that the girls are so interested in water, I wonder if I should take lessons? I’m mediocre, at best and would love to try to “keep up.” Though there is something so beautiful about staying behind on the boat, too…. Hmm.

  3. Oh, Annie, I can relate. I’m a strong swimmer, and always looked down at the wearing of life vests. But, as the saying goes, you can’t swim your way out of anything, and ‘humble and alive’ can be pretty darn cool.

    As for risks, every day is a risk for me. I fainted about an hour ago, and stopped breathing. The dogs did CPR. I’m very bruised and sore, but glad to be alive.

    1. Humble and alive is certainly cool! 😉 I learned, especially on this trip, that the ocean is a wild thing. It was a reminder that we cannot conquer nature – it always has the last say. What a risk for you…. Thankful for your pack (quite literally). Know you are all in our prayers.

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