It was a beautiful day, and hot. I had just swum for a few minutes at our local state park to cool off, and my eyes were beginning to cry out for my sunglasses. So I thought, I’ll go kayaking for a few minutes.
See, three summers ago we bought our son a plastic kayak from Wal-Mart. The first year, he was in the thing constantly. Last year, he still was enthusiastic about paddling around in it, but not as much.
This year, he’s barely touched it. Did we waste our money? No, no, a thousand times no! You see, the maximum weight for the bitty boat is 130 pounds. I weigh…well, less than that. And so I’ve mostly had it to myself so far this summer.
Which brings us back to me deciding to take a little paddle. “Should I try to cross the lake?” I asked my boys.
“If you want,” was J’s predictable answer.
Why, you ask, would it be a big deal for me to cross the lake, especially it not being a large lake in any sense? Two reasons. First, at some point last summer I made it a goal to one day kayak all the way across the lake.
Second – and more importantly – I wanted to celebrate the healing of my arm. In case you don’t know, in October of 2014 I broke my left humerus bone, to the extent that I now have several thousand dollars worth of hardware inside it. (No, it was not funny.)
If you’ve ever broken a bone that badly in your forties (I hope you haven’t/never do), you know that it takes quite some time for full rehabilitation to occur. Like, two years.
The first summer after the break – seven months later – I couldn’t swim, and could barely paddle the kayak because my arm was still so sore. Sometimes, I would feel like those pins in my arms were actually jabbing at nerves. Other times, I felt like I was going to break my arm all over again if I made it do a whole rotation to do a stroke. Last summer was better, but I still experienced soreness after a while of either swimming or kayaking.
This year – hallelujah! – the pain is all gone.
And I’d kayaked at least once a week for the past month, so I thought I’d be strong enough to go all the way across the lake.
And, I did! I’m sorry there’s no photo or video. Just picture me in pink, paddling across a lake in a blue plastic kayak. I think the round trip took about fifteen minutes, including a longish stop in the middle. So, yeah, not a big lake. Not a huge deal to most people.
But it is to me. It’s a symbol of the healing that time brings. When I got back to shore, both my arms were equally sore!
Celebrate the little victories in life. 🙂