i.b.liev’n…”Living Life!” she said, I’m All In!
My good friend invited me and three other girlfriends to her new beach house in Seagrove, Fl. Now these are four of my very best friends. We’ve been in a wine and dinner group as couples for at least 20 years but have only once ever gone away for a “girls trip”! As it turned out, it was one of the best trips ever! Everyone was extremely congenial (not that I expected anything differently but you never know when you're spending all day everyday with people). Our hostess, surprised us and rented us all bikes for the the week! Joy! oh Joy! So we rode our bikes, played cards, read books, rode bikes, drank, went to the beach, and rode bikes…I like to ride bikes! We would fill the cooler with our rum punch, pack some snacks, then load the car. Three of us would ride our bikes to the beach while the other two would drive the car (I think I always got to ride my bike…again lots of joy!) Once we all got the beach we would lug everything down close to the water, choose our spot for the day, and proceed to put out our five beach chairs, put up our sun tent, put hats on our heads, pour up five rum punches, then plop down in our chairs and talk…lots and lots of talk!
This one particular day, we followed our set protocol, and with all the tasks completed, I was sitting looking out on the ocean with drink in hand not really thinking about anything in particular.
One of the other girls and I both noticed, kind of at the same time, a group of senior citizens (with every passing year the age of a senior citizen goes up exponentially as my age goes up) both males and females, 6 in all and probably close to their 80’s. The men were wearing tight fitting bike shorts and polo shirts and the women were wearing beach coverups. These couples laid out a blanket then the women removed their loose fitting shirts to reveal their full wetsuits underneath. The men stood holding their things while they put on bathing caps and nose plugs. It was all just such an unusual scene. For starters, it was early spring, so the water temperature was probably about 75 degrees, way too far from my body temperature to make me want to go in and no one was swimming. Secondly, they were older, so their blood was probably thinner which means they would get colder faster. My friend and I were intrigued! We didn’t say anything to each other but kept watching them…not in a creepy way but in a, 'I'm totally fascinated' way! We were sitting behind them so they really couldn’t tell they were being watched and I know we couldn’t have been the only ones watching them! Then, all three women walked down to the water and took the plunge! Unconscioulsly, I gasped, and so did my friend! I could feel the cold water seeping into my bones by just watching them. They stayed in and swam for maybe ten minutes or so then came out, dried off and and did everything they had just done 10 minutes prior in reverse. My friend and I just looked at each other. The men never sat, they patiently stood and waited for them holding their things. They shook out their blanket and proceeded to leave the beach, passing right by our chairs…my rum punch mind couldn’t help itself, so I spoke up! Addressing the gentleman closest to our chairs, I said, “Hi! We were just noticing that the ladies in your group went in the freezing water! Would they be training for something?” Immediately, without one bit of hesitation, he proudly responded, “Life! They're training for Life!” Well, I couldn’t contain my smile, and about that time one of the ladies stopped to see what we were talking about! She was beaming and clearly reenergized from the dip in the ocean! She said that at her age her muscles were tight and sore and so they would come down to the beach and take a swim in that icy cold water because it was invigorating and the cold reduced the swelling in her joints!
What a great life lesson!
So my hat goes off to the brave women who “take the plunge” knowing that initially it might be a little unpleasant, but who do it anyway, because they have the foresight or the faith to “know” that in the end it’s a good thing!
And to those same women who believe in “Living Life” and every day show the world that they are indeed “All In!”