Yes… Swim (part two)

18th October 2015: Sydney, Australia

I understand the message yesterday was a little militant, and the style may have polarise some of you, however, regardless of whether it is something you enjoy or not, there are benefits just waiting if you would accept the challenge. Admittedly, the thought of swimming laps, wading through the water or completing other exercises does not always evoke an eagerness or joy, however, the intended target of this experiment is to both psychologically challenge the mind whilst hopefully encouraging whoever is reading this to reap the health benefits associated with completing some form of movement in the water. Similar to running, or other exercise pending the interests of people, the thought of swimming can be too mundane or not something previously deemed a valuable inclusion in your weekly plan of movement. In all honesty, it is not easy, but either are the challenges in life. So, accept the challenge by jumping in the water, push through the doubt, and finally reap in the awaiting benefits.

Why I travel…

19th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

Yesterday, a moment occurred that will be forever remembered. The location of the moment was at a surfspot I have recently being surfing. The waves at the place break over shallow, sharp reef, and yesterday the size of surf significantly increased. A complexity is associated with the place due to the fear associated with falling into the sharp reef. I should note at this point a pivotal factor coming to surface on reflection. I have had the mentality throughout the trip of solely wanting things from the ocean. The entry will hopefully portray the understanding learned from the experience whilst also showing an overwhelming respect to the ocean.

So, a friend and I were intending on surfing together. Upon arriving at the place we saw the actual size of the larger waves running down the reef. It was an extremely low tide so we had to walk approximately 100 meters on the reef before attempting to challenge the ocean. My fried successfully managed to make his way out to the waves whilst I remained stuck on the reef throwing my board into the sky attempting to litigate the potential risks of the oncoming balls of fury breaking directly in front of me. Three consecutive waves rolled me along the reef, resulting in my sensing a message was being delivered about an imminent dangers should I continue. There definitely would have been a time when I would have reflected on this experience as a moment of weakness, however, my acceptance and submission lead me to respect the ocean whilst also allowing other opportunities to surface.

The outcomes of being rolled along the reef by three waves resulted in me drifting approximately 150 around the cliff. I noticed a patch of sand was exposed by the low tide forming a little bay, and I felt an overwhelming connection with the world around me. It seemed my fate was to submit to the ocean. Therefore, I decided to turn around to commence the journey back to the shore. Whilst paddling, I felt drawn to the exposed bay, and again felt I needed to follow my instincts. Once standing on the bay, I rested my board in some shade, and completed a powerful and emotive yoga session. I was surprised at how deep into the practice I became, and felt the three waves served the purpose of getting me to find strength in accepting my defeat. I fully acknowledge the criticism by some at the content, however, I can honestly say it is an accurate account of what I was experiencing at the time, and still believe the events are to hold some meaning in my life.

1, 2 or more drinks?

10th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

The platform of writing these entries was designed to be honest, and so I must confess there is a contrast to the content from the last entry. The reasoning is due to waking up yesterday with a hangover. It was the first time in over eighteen months, and I realise why drinking alcohol to excess is typically avoided. I spent the majority of the day asleep, missing very good waves and feeling as one would expect when hungover. Admittedly though, do I feel bad? The answer coming to mind is no. I probably will not drink alcohol to such an extent for a very long time, however, to visually express my outlook is to think of the night as a wave missed in the ocean. There is no benefit in remaining in a prolonged state of annoyance or frustration as the event or the wave has passed, and will never again be possible to obtain. I agree, a similar wave or event may again occur, and hopefully a better choice is made, however, all this is out of my control so it appears best to wait for the next wave to pass through.

Why is my writing so saturated in negativity?

29th January 2014: Sydney Australia

From the very beginning of this entry, an underlying theme of positivity should be splattered for all to see. The reasoning stems from the confirmation received reinforcing the belief already held about my health and well-being. In addition, I was advised my doctor could not see my overall prognosis in a situation better than my current presentation, especially when a year ago I was sitting in the very same seat with any number of negative outcomes very probable. Therefore, one would expect an overwhelming sense of relief to be almost bleeding from the entry. Instead, I write with a scorn and grimace plastered across my face.

Firstly, I had a very poor start to the morning resulting from a terrible night sleep. Secondly, the weather has been awful, another driving factor wanting me to get out of here once the temperature drops on a permanent basis. Thirdly, an argument over messages was had with my girlfriend. An event I must add is seemingly occurring too frequently, and finally, I am currently writing with my knee resting in an elevated position wrapped in ice. Above any of the previously mentioned, the latter point is the root cause of the horrid mood pulsating throughout my body. I am hoping nothing serious has occurred, and do believe I am placing over emphasis on the matter, however, the reality of the an outcome should I have damaged my knee is currently unbearable. Tears almost started draining from my eyes as I was washing around the water after my knee gave way whilst riding a wave this morning. A massive crack caused alarm bells to ring in my mind, and immediately, I became worried. I started repeating positive affirmations to settle my thoughts, and once arrived on the shore was able to do complete some simple exercises so am simply using the ice as a precaution. I did have a battle in my mind for a moment about fitting in some yoga, however, reason prevailed, and I will be resting for the day. In all honesty, I am tempted to take some pain medication to just switch off from everything for a while, however, my mind has returned to the topic previously discussed about isolation versus solitude, and in this case it would be a clear example of isolating myself. Therefore, reason has once more prevailed, and I am able to identify the thinking pattern is destructive, leading me stay away from self medicating and instead opt to read, complete some meditation and sleep naturally.

Will Cancer always be like a fin in the ocean, and I need to wait to discover whether a shark or dolphin is in my prescence?

17th December 2014: Sydney, Australia

I seem to have developed the capacity to constantly draw meaning from the surrounding environment to my personal circumstances. The event leading to these chain of thoughts was again located within the ocean whilst surfing, and has acted as a reminder of how important it is to connect with nature, especially the ocean. The difficulty immediately coming to mind is the upcoming future decision to be made in regards to my long distance relationship. It may be argued whether a connection with the ocean is a necessity in my life, however, I must not overlook the appeal the ocean has on me, particularly how calming it can be; it’s natural beauty; the occurrences that seem to bring certain thinking to surface, and importantly the enjoyment and overall feeling of joy associated with the times spent either swimming, surfing or gazing into the horizon. In addition, my life has virtually revolved around the ocean since birth, eliciting an emptiness at the thought of this not featuring in my future life. I do acknowledge all the wonders brought to my life by my relationship, and therefore lies the very complex problem of what decision is to be made.

The circumstances today were experienced alone, a somewhat rare occasion, especially when in the summer months of Australia. To place content in the event, it should be noted that I was in a slightly elevated state of anxiety due to recent shark sightings over consecutive weekends. So, when my eyesight saw a pair of dolphins jumping through the water, thoughts of what were accompanying the dolphins initially blocked my ability to completely bask in the majestic beauty of the playfulness occurring directly in front of me. A few moments later, a fin was seen cruising approximately 50 meters from where I saw the dolphins. Instinctively, I knew it was just the dolphins, however, the thought was reinforced of whether a shark was trailing the dolphins. A break in this chain of thought resulted from a number of similar fins accompanying this lone fin, reassuring me of the fact that I was surrounded by a group of dolphins gently playing in the surrounding water.

The question thought at a later stage centred upon the significance of knowing it was dolphins. If there was no knowledge about dolphins, then it is highly likely I would have been extremely scared of the prospect of what damage a shark could inflict upon me, and whether I would have gone in the water at the same time again. Therefore, I need to ask, what if the Cancer inside of me was the fin? If so, can the feeling ever be replicated whereby I sigh at a relief of knowing I am not in any sort of danger, or alternatively, will I forever initially feel a degree of anxiety and fear in varying situations throughout my life?