Gettin’ High

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It’s been over a year and a half since we relocated; I’ve conquered San Diego by sea and by land…. so why not also by air? Sometime during our first months we had ventured to the spectacular Glider Port by Torrey Pines. I proclaimed to my (incredulous) husband that I’d love to go paragliding. He promptly laughed it off.

Months later, on Mother’s Day, my charming husband told me to put my butt where my mouth is (in a matter of speaking, of course) as he handed me a gift certificate for a paraglide tour. There was one parameter: he and the kiddos wanted to watch. The reason? He was sure I would soil myself, and he did not want to miss that.

Weeks passed. Months passed. Not because I was nervous, but because it was logistically challenging: it was hard to find an afternoon that we had good air and no obligations, and we had to be free at a moment’s notice. I don’t do a lot of things with just a moment’s notice.

A day in March proved to be it. The adventure was spectacular.

Flying, floating, soaring.

Alas, no soiling.

The gorgeous ocean view on the right was trumped only by the incredible estates on the left (yes, the same La Jolla neighborhood where, ironically, the POTUS is lunching as I type). From seals and surfers, to golfers and nudists… there was activity all around that I could see from a completely unique perspective.

This adventure was something I will always remember, with the most profound moment occurring on ground prior to flight.

My 9-year-old, witty, snarky and dryly blunt, hugged me and sent me off with these poignant words:

Mommy, if you die, know you were loved.

Ummm….should I be profoundly touched or deeply offended?

I’ll opt for the former.

As another Mother’s Day is upon us, I wish you all give or receive accordingly the love, gratitude and appreciation that you feel…however it may be demonstrated.

 

 

 

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The Upshot of Swimming with Sharks

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Above tranquil water at the Cove hovered a healthy marine layer. June Gloom they call it. Where did the water, land and sky converge? Unknown, and I wasn’t going to swim far enough to find out. My mission, simple enough, was threefold: 1) Test out my cozy new wetsuit  2) Avoid marine life  3) Cross “tackling fear of open ocean swimming” off the Bucket List. The results: Done, Done and Done.

The swim itself was surreal–and much more enjoyable than anticipated. The water was warmer than expected (and no, I didn’t christen my wetsuit the old fashioned way as I wasn’t sure I’d keep it). The kelp forests were more abundant than envisioned. The sea life was more active than imagined. I noted plenty of fish and even (gasp!) a shark–though not a man-eating one I am certain. I did have a face-to-face encounter with a seal, also enjoying his morning exercise. Equally startled by one another we locked eyes and then amicably parted ways.

In hindsight it all sounds peaceful. But let me assure you that my thoughts prior to and upon entering the water revolved around seal diarrhea and shark attacks. I’ve witnessed the former and heard tales of the latter, and there I was electing to put myself in the middle of both. Images of these eliminated any lollygagging on my part. Get in, swim hard, get out.

Two weeks later I ventured out on a bright, sunny morning a few miles up the coast. Concerns of seal diarrhea were replaced with some anxiety about contending with an actual surf. I have raced in the nastiness that is the Hudson River and many murky, bacteria-laden lakes, but I’ve never had to break through the surf to reach the open water. New is what keeps it exciting (or so I tell myself).

Pummeled only once or twice I came to enjoy the challenge. Going with it rather than fighting against it, I finally relaxed. Eventually I emerged with fingers and toes–and everything in between–attached. I’ll even go back for more, especially now that my wetsuit has been officially christened.

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