How to find a sustainable pace

Boundary Waters

I am thinking about transitions, pacing, and limits of the imagination.
Recently, I completed my first triathlon. Our swim coach had told us to “touch your hand to the bottom three times before you stand up” at the end of the swim. Simple, right? But coming ashore, that bottom is oh so tempting. It’s hard to wait. The sand looks inches away even while the water is waist deep. But I wait and claw my way to shore, practically belly-flopping on the sand before standing up, ankle-deep in the water. The transition is made easy by that patience.
Swimming itself requires some imagination. We are land-based creatures so to allow ourselves to submerge into the fluid environment asks of us a certain trust. That we can float. That we can find a way to get nose (or mouth) to air. That we can be held by this thick environment so contrary to our conscious mind’s beliefs. The more we struggle, the more we sink. The challenge is to relax into the unfamiliar.
I’ve had some bad experiences in the water where my body panicked and revolted against the environment. This triathlon was a renegotiation of sorts between me and the water and my fears. I like where we’ve gotten with each other.
Now the question is—with these experiences still fresh in my body’s psyche—how can I apply this learning to other changes in my life? How can I be patient in transitions? How can I relax into the unfamiliar? How can I allow that which wants to emerge to soak into my imagination and come into form? How can I find my sustainable pace?
Happy springtime!

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