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How not to drown (literally) before your wedding

I was startled awake at 4:20 a.m. with an itchy leg.

I wondered if my grandpa had passed overnight as expected and was visiting me from the other side.. or maybe it was just a mosquito...

I swirled in the bedsheets for another two hours, before dragging myself to meditate, but the restlessness of my body and mind continued.

So I drove my car bleary-eyed, parked, and clocked two blonde ladies gossiping away as they stared out at the ocean and I walked toward it.

I entered the water where I always do, took a breath in anticipation of cold, and dove in.

I thought for something different I'd swim some laps.


I've never been stuck in a rip before, but it gets real, really fast.

Remembering everything I'd been taught about rips from a young age, I tried not to panic.

But panic washed over me, unlike the waves which were nowhere to be seen. Just an undertow and me.

I didn't want to cause a scene, could I still get out of this? If I yelled to the surfers bobbing in the near distance, would they hear me or would I die of drowning and embarrassment?

Isn't it wild as humans we'll do anything to avoid being embarrassed? - I've heard it's common for men to die in restaurant bathrooms rather than choke in public, thinking they could save themselves.

This was one of those moments.

The thought of actually drowning dissolved my embarrassment pretty quickly, but I still needed a solution.

I stared toward the sand, knowing more surfers would surely be arriving soon and it wasn't long before I was waving like I'd seen long-lost friends.

My wave penetrated their conversation, the female running toward me with her surfboard, the male throwing his down and running as if Baywatch was being filmed.

And it seriously could have been, I couldn't have been rescued by a better-looking couple.

I locked onto the big green eyes of the male surfer as he told me to keep moving and yanked me to shore.

After we all caught our breath, I learned this wasn't their first rodeo.

I walked back toward my car and the two blondes still sitting near the car park informed me it wasn't theirs either. They said they were watching me the whole time, ready to intervene like they'd had to before.

Turns out I had angels watching from all angles.

After holding a brave face the whole time, I drove out of the carpark and exploded in tears, collapsing into my partner Ray's arms when I got home and crying for the rest of the morning, allowing the cortisol to drain from me.

Even Tao our ginger cat seemed a tad concerned with my disposition. Perhaps he knew he'd nearly lost his treat supplier.

I'd wanted the ocean to wake me up, but this was more adrenaline than 10 cups of coffee I didn't need.

I was in shock. I didn't think this would ever happen to me.

Growing up with rough oceans prepared me for this situation, and probably helped me to get out of it, it just didn't mean I could avoid it.

It makes me think about the anxiety we sometimes feel and the control we love to have over situations that we can never fully plan for. It showed me that when that time comes there are solutions and people in our time of need.

It reminded me that resilience is something we can also build. Practicing in the small moments of difficulty prepares us for the big ones.

These moments certainly can scare us right back into our shells if we let them. But as they say, get back on the horse.

My horse happens to be Hawaii next week, to get married, I'll be surrounded by ocean and I wouldn't want to let fear ruin that trip.

And the dark sense of humour in me thinks, if I'm going down, the world-famous pipeline is a more epic place to drown compared to what just happened to me, something that would have landed on the cutting room floor of a Bondi Rescue episode.

But don't worry, I don't plan on that.

p.s. Are you too exhausted to pursue the things that bring you joy? Get your FREE GUIDE - 5 instant stress relievers to stop feeling so exhausted. Start shifting that dial to feeling more joy and freedom now. Get your free guide here.


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