Rolf’s Wild Swim
During the Heart Attack there are many situations that pushed us out of our comfort zone. One of my strongest lessons came when I was faced with a challenge from the ocean during the 5 days we spent in the wilderness.
Standing on a rock looking at the waves my first impression of the situation was that there was no way we were going to be able to cross to a little island. The waves around the island seemed to be too strong. The water level was changing up to a meter every few seconds.
Yotam started to focus on the cyclic pattern of the water movements, estimating distances and investigating obstacles and dangers under water. I realized that this he was serious we were going to cross. “There is no current”, he said. I started to see it, the small time frame of a few seconds without current and good water level for crossing to the other side.
Yotam crossed. His timing was perfect, a result of understanding and being one with the water movement and the environment. I decided to follow, together with a few other people. My timing was ok but I did not plan my jump well enough. I hit a stone with my lower leg. But eventually, I made it. What a feeling!
For a while, all of us were enjoying the moment on the other side. And then we realized that we still had to go back. In fact, the conditions for the return seemed to be more challenging. Indeed, I was a little bit off timing and did not jump far enough. So, I was not able to grab the rock on the other side and got washed away. Instead of panicking I surrendered to the water movement, waiting for the current to bring me back. Not many thoughts were going through my mind. There was only space for calmness and full focus on the movement of the water. I knew I couldn’t fight it; I need to use it and follow it in order to get back. I finally felt the rock. A helping hand was waiting to support me. I had made it.
I have learned with this experience that our limits are not there where we think they are. And at the same time your focus and awareness of the situation has to be sufficient to meet the challenge. If this is not the case in potentially life threatening situations, you might end up paying deeply. Sometimes in life we need to jump to the cold water, have the courage, use your wisdom and stay calm as you flow with waves. In this case, the group and the helping hand made a difference. As Yotam says the togetherness is important.
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Written by Rolf Schober
Heart Attack participant 2017