It’s mid-winter on the mid-Atlantic, the last thing I want to do when I paddle out to surf is duck dive (dive under the wave with my board). However, as you may have guessed, there’s no way around it. Experiencing a few ice-cream-headaches during paddle-outs is a normal drill this time of year. Your eyes squint when you resurface, your mind races and asks you why you do this, and you want to cry for a moment, then it passes. You forget about it as the sun rays meet your forehead, in that instant it’s like you’ve been blessed by the heavens, so you keep paddling.
But this one particular day I had to laugh. As I paddled towards a breaking wave. I looked left, then right, up, and then down, there was no choice, I had to go through it. So I positioned myself for the duck dive, hands pressing the nose of the board down, one knee pulled in, and the other leg is extended back controlling the tail of the board. Just before I plunged under, through the wall of water the children’s rhyme “can’t go over, can’t go under it, can’t go around it, have to go through it, have to go through it” played in my head. Laughter burst from my lips in such an exalted force that I almost forgot to take a breath. I dove through that wave and surfaced with the question, “were they prepping us all along?!?!” It’s such an accurate saying for this journey we call life. We learn it at an early age, but somewhere along the line I think we forget.
Although sometimes we go around, over, or under things, it’s more often that we must face and go straight through things in order to come out the other side with the lessons we needed to learn in order to carry on. And those lessons, those experiences that prep us for our future are much like the sun rays that kissed my forehead, they make us realize there was purpose for going through it. When we come out the other side, look back, and are met with those realizations, the ice-cream-headaches seem irrelevant, the horizon seems more distinct, and we beam back into the ride of life. Go through it.