This morning began much like every other morning:
I checked to see if April the giraffe is still pregnant. Isabella yelling at me about something. My baby, it seems, isn’t so much a morning person unless it’s Saturday — the one day a week I could potentially do some sort of sleep-like thing — and then she’s up and ready to be fully entertained before my body is ready for such things. On weekdays, though, this child cannot get up. “Five more minutes,” is the first thing out of her mouth, followed by “Don’t touch my bed, don’t come near me, don’t breathe near me!” When she finally makes her way downstairs, there’s something unreasonable she needs to be grumpy about.
“Mom, my shoes have too much sand on them and it’s all your fault because you made me go to the beach yesterday and you didn’t warn me that there was going to be sand!!!!!”
I didn’t warn her that there would be sand at the beach.
On some mornings I laugh and take the high road. I ignore what she’s saying, drink my coffee, and throw my hat and coat over my jammies and drive her to school, whilst showering her with “Have a great day, Sugar Bear!”s and “I love you!”s. On some mornings I let her get to me, but drink my coffee and swallow my words. On some mornings, such as this morning, I lose my temper.
“I didn’t warn you that there would be sand at the beach?! SERIOUSLY? Shake you shoes out oh my god and put them on and let’s go to school. SUGAR BEAR.”
I probably shouldn’t have yelled at her, even though she probably deserved it.
I mean, that thing I forced her to do yesterday, it was me, in a pair of leggings, a t-shirt that says “It’s Golden Hour Somewhere,” sockless Converse all-stars, and a hula skirt, plunging into Lake Ontario in the freezing cold. If there’s exactly one thing I wasn’t thinking about, it was the potential sand factor in Isabella’s shoes.
(photo: Sarah Daniella Shizgal Herman)
The truth is, I use the term plunging into a little loosely, since right about 4 steps into the water, the waves and several other factors (perhaps the fact that it was below zero and I was wearing shoes in a lake and holding hands with 4 other women) pulled three of us right down under the water, causing me to do exactly the opposite of what I had planned to do, which was run in and run out and not be a hero and definitely not put my head under the water in Lake Ontario because all of the too-many articles I had read about post-polar plunge hypothermia and/or heart attacks said WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T PUT YOUR HEAD UNDER THE WATER, and also I’m pretty sure Lake Ontario has a wee bit of E.Coli in it.
Down I went, under the water, and my fight or flight instinct was all, just get your head above water and get yourself out of this lake and into a giant dry towel and inside a heated RV.
(photos: Tania Samson)
But here’s the thing.
I did it.
And it was so ridiculously, completely, 150% outside of my comfort zone.
Hi, I have anxiety. Plunging into a sub-zero degree lake isn’t high on my list of things that are good for my anxiety.
But this was for charity. And for an organization that is very near and dear to my heart. As a team we raised over $62,000 and personally I raised over $1100. (Thank you so much to every single person who donated.)(It’s actually not too late to donate — help us send kids to camp!)
And I’ve decided that stepping out of that comfort zone? It’s so stinkin’ hard but so worth it. I felt amazing after I had done it. Mostly because I had survived, but also because there was this rush of OH MY GOD I DID THIS THING I REALLY ACTUALLY DID IT.
So now I’ll have to figure out what’s next for me and my non-thrill-seeking anxiety-filled personality to conquer.
As soon as I make sure I don’t actually have E.Coli and figure out how to conquer mornings with Isabella.