It happened this Tuesday. One moment I was having the time of my life, rowing and laughing at the fun. Then I looked over my shoulder and my heart raced.
My husband and I are rowing these days. I’ve always wanted to row, but I kept putting it off. Finally, a few weeks ago, I decided it was the time. We both took lessons, and on the first day without our coach, I was marveling about how good it felt.
It felt like the closest I’ll ever get to flying like a bird.
Then I looked over my shoulder. In the distance I could see my husband’s scull, upside down in the water.
I rowed over to him as fast as I could, yelling “calm!” at each of my now shaky strokes. He was on the side, unable to get back in the boat.
I told myself I needed to control my thinking. That I could give into despair, or that I could be courageous.
And so began 45 minutes of terror. We were uncertain where and when the wind would blow us to shore, and whether another rower would see us.
Finally we drifted to a shallow spot where he could stand. Help arrived at the same time.
Today I’m deliberately practicing getting in and out of the boat. So that if I capsize, I won’t need courage. I’ll just really be ready.