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How do you get into a cold ocean for a swim?

Mel and I went to Rehoboth Beach (DE) for a few days two weeks ago. The weather was perfect. Sunny with a little breeze and temperatures in the mid-70s. It was so nice on the beach that you could sit there all day and not feel hot. I love the ocean and anytime I go between April and November, I have to get in the water. It’s sort of an unspoken pact I have with the water.

Well the ocean temperature in early June in the mid-atlantic is usually around the high sixties. For those of you who live in colder climates, you are probably envious of how “warm” this water is, but for anyone in the middle to lower States, you know how cold this can “feel.” Especially when you’re not hot! There is only one way I get into the ocean.

I run directly into the water and dive in as soon as it’s deep enough to not bury my skull in the bottom

I see lots of people stand at the edge of the froth from the crashing waves, letting the water hit their feet. They are trying to decide if they want to get in or not. The problem with only dipping your toes in the water, is that the rest of your body is still in the warm air, so the water feels even colder than it is. Many times, I watch them stand there for a minute and then they retreat back to their blanket or beach chair having decided it’s just too cold to go in. They miss out on the exhilarating feeling of submerging themselves quickly into the water.

When you dive right in, your body quickly adjusts and it feels amazing. And this is the lesson. How often do we tip toe around the thing we would like to do. We think about it. We consider it. We analyze the pros and cons. And guess what? Even though it is something we really want to do, maybe its something we are CALLED to do, we end up stressing the cons of the idea and we never plunge in.

The experience comes from the plunge

I’m not talking about things as major as buying a home or investing thousands of dollars in a venture. In these cases we should weigh out the costs and the benefits of the risk. I’m talking about life in general and all the things we think about doing or pursuing. In these cases, the ocean teaches us the best lesson. Dive in and then figure it out as you go! You’ll feel better just diving in. You’ll feel a higher sense of self because you are willing to take the step. You don’t need to figure everything out before you do something. Most of what you will encounter you can’t understand until you are in the water of your pursuit.

Whatever is in your heart to do in this world, you are supposed to do. That’s why its in your heart. Its probably in line with your gifts and your passions. So go ahead, take a running start and just dive in. There is never a better time than now!


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