The First Outdoor Adventure

I finally did it! I have been trying to kayak ever since my birthday, over two months ago. First it was too windy and cold, then the urgent comes up and pushes to the side the important–errrk! Excuses. Let’s try some honesty: I wasn’t ready.

Then there is the ladies group, Michana Outdoors Women over 40, that I signed up with around the time I started Grief Share. I did not want to be around people, but I was trusting my heavenly Dad, that through Grief Share, eventually I would want to again. It was a new group that just started in January and often when a new group forms it isn’t long before they fill up and stop accepting new members.

I toyed with the idea of throwing my hat in the ring for about two weeks. I had e-mailed back and forth with the organizer to find out if Taylor could come with me, but since it’s for 40+, she’d only be able to come when they opened it up for guests. BY MYSELF? Navigating to new towns in my 17 year old van? I’d have to think about it… .

I filled out the information, sent in my $5.00 and…that was it. I didn’t have it in me.

Technically, we were suppose to participate in one event every 2 months to retain our membership, but I…couldn’t. I resigned myself that if they kicked me out, it wasn’t meant to be. In with all of the “past due” med bills, I never received a notice of cancellation for the over 40’s group. Interesting.

Taylor’s work schedule is situated in a way that she occasionally works Saturdays. I found out a couple of weeks ago she was working this last weekend and my first thought was about the ladies group. Should I, shouldn’t I, I don’t even know if they have an event that day, blah, blah, blah. I looked em’ up and low and behold if they weren’t kayaking and hiking! Did I sign up right away? Make that a “no.” This grief thing is quite the beast. I question myself every step of the way. “Is this the best use of my time and finances (although it cost nothing but gas)?” The mental argument taking place in my mind is truly ridiculous, but takes place when any opportunity arises.

FINALLY I push the button,”going,” and, of course, dread it for the next two weeks straight, second guessing if I should have made the commitment.

There was one little piece of information that I neglected to divulge: this was a “plus 1” event. I watched over the next two weeks as ladies signed up with their hubbies or significant others. WARNING, WARNING! AWKWARDNESS AHEAD!!!!

The two weeks of dread finally concluded with a Friday of stomach knots. I loaded my kayak and life vest, along with extra clothes in the back of the van, and printed out the location, so rationalization for not attending could be avoided the next morning. I woke up and left the house 1 hour earlier than the scheduled meet time to allow for road construction and a last minute stop for bottled water and gas. Plugging my coordinates into my phone, dropping Taylor off at work on the way, and I would be off. Oooops! Phone shut off twice one the way to Taylor’s work, loosing my directions. Plan B. Enter destination and see if I could remember the next few turns in case this happened on the road (I have a very old phone that is dying–but it takes great pictures!!!)

I babied the phone and it got me to the city of destination and a cross road, but that was it. It could no longer connect to google maps. Prayer, signs and the description of “west side of the beach before Cummings Lodge”, that’s the ticket! Wait…what direction am I driving? How the heck do I find Cummings Lodge? Ooohhhh, grief.

The last I saw I was within a couple of miles of the destination and I still had about an hour. “I can do this…,” I mutter. Did I mention prayer?

Through signs, common sense (a beach has to be next to water, right? Following the shore line seemed wise, but then there’s the area where their are lakes on both sides, sigh).

30 minutes later and I see a sign for Cumming’s Lodge. “West side of the beach.” Again, where the heck am I?!?!?!? I being who I am, am not afraid of talking to people so, let’s find people and ask!

I met three lovely ladies and a gentleman (who btw, came over later to get information on our group 😉 ), who told me where I was, which direction was north and that I had found my destination!!! Half an hour early! Yeah!!! I chatted a bit as they prepared for their kayak adventure, then back to my van to wait.

James 1:5 “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

Ok, so the beginning of my first adventure was a little rough going. It would have been easy to justify/make excuses why this was a “dumb idea,” “I should just quit and go home,”or that “God must not want me to do this or everything would have fallen into place,” and so on and so forth.

Life isn’t easy. Things break down or get messed up. If you give up you will never see the beauty that is waiting for you on the other side of the challenge:

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Most importantly: you are not in this alone. Our heavenly Dad will get you where you need to be.

Until another day, Blessings!

Author: Tracy Cook

Widowed one week before our 27th wedding anniversary, Heavenly Dad continues to carry me, now blessing me with a second chance for love.

3 thoughts on “The First Outdoor Adventure”

  1. Living with severe depression there are times that I do “just give up and go home. ” sometimes I feel the effort was not worth what I would gain. Through counseling and medication I have learned how to put one step in front of the other and most importantly where to step. If I know it’s going to be a hard day emotionally I take smaller steps. Thank you for allowing me to walk with you through your journey. I don’t feel so alone walking through mine.

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