As you all know I spent the week last week up in the Adirondacks with my husband’s family at a fantastic location called Covewood Lodge.
The lodge is rustic and reminiscent of the spirit of 1950. There is limited wifi and no cell service. I drove into the next town a few times to get some work done but enjoyed the disconnect.
Tim’s family has been going there since his mother Christine was a little girl and so many memories past and present are being made. It is a place where time stands still so year after year you can go back and it all looks and feels the same. This year that was especially important as my husband’s grandmother passed away last month and it was a place where he and my mother-in-law could grieve and remember her. We went on hikes they had gone on together and we spent time at her favorite lake, Russian Lake.
We hiked a lot, fished, knitted and sat and talked about life. The days were chilly that week as upstate New York wasn’t experiencing the warmth of the south.
A very interesting part of Covewood Lodge is that most rooms and cabins are booked for the whole week – so the week we were there, there were other families creating their own memories in the lodge and on the grounds and we got to get to know some of them as we consistently ran into each other.
I like to meet people and find out about their lives so one by one I started initiating conversation with one particular family. I am curious by nature and love getting to know people on a level deeper than they are probably used to – but I ask questions anyway at the same time trying to respect their need for quiet and privacy. I don’t like to bother people but sometimes I just can’t help myself from bursting out with life questions about who they are.
For us, something that has become a tradition is sitting out on the red adirondack chairs every early morning and having our coffee while watching the mist glide across the lake.
For the family I was speaking to on occasion – their tradition was jumping into the freezing cold lake every morning at 7 am. The first time I saw them all walk down the hill in towels I thought, “No way. What? Are they CRAZY?” and “They must be from a northern state to swim in cold early morning waters. We southerners prefer our water a little warmer, thank you. When I lived in South Beach Miami I didn’t go into the water until April when it got warm. I’ll just sit here and drink my piping hot coffee while wrapped in my wool blanket. That I knitted. For weather like this.”
And one by one they jumped in. I imagined the water to be like ice. I shuttered thinking about the chill my bones would have if I had done that. Some would creep down into the waters, and some would jump right in (which I believe is the only way to do things. If you are going to do it, then jump right in.)
So every morning I watched and they all seemed to love it!
Towards the end of the week – I got curious. Was it reeeeally that cold? Well, I will never find out. First of all I am a salt water girl, and lake water makes me nervous. Secondly, it was COLD. I could see it on their faces.
The day before we left – as I watched this entire family jump into the watery depths laughing I couldn’t take it anymore. My curiosity won out. I am typically very curious by nature and thought to myself, “Sandra! What in the world! Your WHOLE LIFE is about adventure and taking new risks. Why are you sitting on the sidelines watching?” So I looked at Tim and said, “I’m going to do it.” He looked back with wide eyes knowing my distaste for the cold and said, “Are you sure?” “yes.”
So I waited till the other family left and then ran up to my apartment in the lodge, changed into my bathing suit and ran down in my towel to the dock. Tim grabbed the camera as he HAD to archive the moment and as I stood on the side of the dock I couldn’t believe I was about to do this.
Just do it. I take huge risks every day. Just jump.
So I did. I overcame my fear of cold lake water and went for it.
And it WAS cold. I started swimming to the little dock far out in the water, climbed out and then jumped back in.
WOW it was cold.
And I LOVED it. WHAT???? I got out shivering and realized I LOVED it!
It was beyond brisk, but my senses were fully alive! It was a shock but I LOVED it!
I ran back upstairs, took a hot shower and almost cried.
People see me taking risks and living life large, but sometimes the biggest risk comes from just going for something that is seemingly against your nature.
You may find out that you love it.
So the next morning, the morning that were were headed away from Covewood till the next time, I wore my bathing suit down to the chairs. I wrapped myself up in a towel, and after the other family jumped in – I ran and joined them for a few minutes and jumped into the cold waters of Big Moose Lake. I didn’t stay in long as I didn’t want to disrupt their family time, but I now have a tradition of my own borrowed from theirs.
A 7 am swim in cold lake waters.
I love it. Thank you to the family who went first.
What is something you can do today that would put you out of your comfort zone? Maybe it’s asking questions to someone and getting to know them better. Maybe it is turning off the TV and reading. Maybe it is taking 5 minutes for yourself, stepping outside and feeing the grass beneath your toes. Maybe it is forgiving someone who hurt you in the past. Maybe deciding to get healthy. Maybe it is jumping in a lake.
I don’t know what is risky for you.
But today. Just take the risk. You may love the outcome.