This Spring Break, I spent a few days in Destin, Florida. The Emerald Coast was absolutely beautiful, with bright water and white sand all around. The ocean is the best place to think, in my opinion. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so.
While I was floating in the waves, an older guy was carried by the current toward me. He had bright purple and yellow sunglasses, and they caught my eye. I looked away for a split second when I turned back to see a huge wave about to break over top of me. I had just enough time to choose between ducking under the wave and trying to swim over it. I chose incorrectly.
As I tried to swim over it, I was pushed under the salty, burning water. I emerged sputtering and spitting water with my glasses hanging off of my face. The man, who had ducked underneath the wave, looked at me and said, “You know, you can always go under the wave”.
Going under the wave is something that many of us struggle with on a daily basis. Sometimes we don’t see the wave until it’s upon us. Other times, we misjudge its size. We think that going under the wave is the “easy way out” and we would rather be smacked in the face by stinging water than take the weaker option.
What we fail to recognize is that you can only be smacked in the face so many times before the stinging is too much, before your eyes burn too much to open, and before your throat is raw from accidentally swallowing the salty water. Going under the water, you still get wet, and your eyes may burn, but you can keep rising up from the water.
If you believe you can jump the wave, jump it. But wait too long, and your options are taken away from you. Making the judgmental call to swim under the wave isn’t so much a sign of weakness as a sign of strength, a sign of being able to judge your own abilities. More often than not, when we give ourselves the time to make it, we make the right decision.