I woke up sad and anxious this morning. Sad because I dropped Eliza off at her dorm last night and somehow it wasn’t any easier this time than it was when I dropped her off for the first time in August. Seriously, I cried so hard when I got back to the hotel room last night that I scared my dog (Lulu joined us on this road trip). I blame Eliza for being such good company; if she were a little more of a jerk it would be easier to say goodbye.
Anxious for no good reason; just the kind of free-floating anxiety that can accompany a day of travel. The last thing I wanted to do as I nattered around the hotel room, packing up and worrying about whether or not I had found and cleaned every last dish (a sign over the sink warned of a $150 cleaning fee if dishes weren’t washed!) was to trek out into the cold dark morning and go for a swim.
But it’s the year of swimming! It certainly wasn’t going to get any easier to swim later in the day. I’m scheduled to take the 10:30 ferry to Port Angeles and then drive to Portland. So, I lugged my pitiful self to the beach for a last swim on this beautiful island.
The Cold Water Addicts, with whom I swam yesterday, meet each weekday at 8 am at a beach not far from my hotel. Nelson sent me the info, but when I got there I couldn’t imagine swimming; waves were slapping against the sea wall and driftwood was rolling up and down the beach in the tumultuous surf. Luckily, Nelson found me and let me know that when the sea was rough, they swim at Little Ross Bay—a calmer place further on.
Several swimmers met us there; another friendly, cold-water-craving bunch. The water was dark and full of energy and, as I slowly submerged, the cold water obliterated my anxiety. I felt great; well and whole and ready for anything. Also, I’m surprisingly acclimated to this very cold water after only a couple of swims. My hands didn’t even ache.
I’m still missing Eliza, but I feel world’s better than I did when I woke up this morning. As I leave this beautiful place I send so much gratitude to all of the cold water swimmers who have welcomed me here in Victoria and so much love to my girl, making her way in the world without me. I can’t wait to come back!