Posted by: realifemermaid | February 6, 2012

Rough Seas

I was hoping that this next post would be about swimming.  Straight up, hard core swimming and my revelations in my return to the confines of a 50 meter, 8 lane chlorinated pool.  Something about how it was like returning home, the necessities of swimming, the nostalgia of the smell…I don’t know.  I thought I would write a post about this because the Rowdy Gaines pool, which had been closed for the last three weeks to fix and reinstall a liner, was finally reopened last Wednesday.  I had the date saved on my iPhone and everything…POOL REOPENS today! 

Unfortunatley, my body seemed to have other plans. 

Central Florida got flooded with allergens.  For me, high pollen counts mean allergies, and allergies can frequently turn into an asthma flare.  Usually, I am good at predicting a bad flare and doing everything to prevent the ER or hospital…but not this time.  I ended up in the hospital two times and missing four days of teaching my funny, delightful, charming ninth graders English.  And swimming in the newly refurbished pool!

One of my favorite pieces of literature I got to teach my students this year was “Bethany Hamilton: Always Looking Ahead.”  Bethany Hamilton is a pro surfer who was attacked by a shark when she was 13 while surfing off the North Shore of Kauai. 

This hospitalization was really no big deal, but it brougt back  memries of the past when my asthma was much more difficult to handle.  Times when I really did feel stuck in the Impact Zone.      

“When you get in the Impact Zone, get back up because you never know what’s over the next wave.” – Surfing has a period of time called “The Impact Zone” when things can get very difficult. Like life, often the difference between a champion surfer and everyone else is when the Impact Zone knocks them down, they simply choose to get back up.

Everyone has their own Impact Zone, whether it is something as devestating as Bethany Hamilton, physical, or emotional, everyone has their own times in life where they just want to go out surfing and they see those perfect waves, and maybe have caught those perfect waves, but then you just get stuck.  And not only do you get stuck, but it seems like you get stuck over and over again and no matter what you do there is just a ton of water pounding on you, twisting you all around, pulling you in every direction so you do not know what way is up or down.  You question yourself, yell at the waves, beg for it to stop. 

The best news?  Eventually it does stop.  You do get out of the Impact Zone. 

Here is what Bethany didn’t say though.  You get out of the Impact Zone to paddle out into the lineup again, wait for another sick ride, get cocky again.  Then what happens?

You wipe out.

You are in the Impact Zone again.  Struggling some.  But it is okay, because you have been here before.  You know the tools to get out the the Impact Zone now.  You know now, that if you just swim your board in instead of paddling, you’ll get out quicker.  You’ve evolved.  Your smarter. 

You can do anything.



  1. B Ham definitely is an inspiration and can shred like no other. I saw footage of her training and she H.A.M.!!!

  2. My brother was living on Kauai and saw her surfing and playing tennis, too! If you listen carefully in the movie, Soul Surfer, you can hear the mother threatening to send her to Kapa’a…that is the school that my sister-in-law taught art. She could have been her art teacher if she weren’t home schooled.

  3. That was a beautiful entry. I loved your comparisons and felt they were right on target. I LOVE the way you get back up in the line up all through your life. Remember that last wave of the movie , how beautiful and perfect it was after her day of struggles?

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