Matt's Corner

A Day @ the Beach

Background: I think my parents threw me in the pool just after I could walk… I joined my first swim team in the 5th grade; swam all through high school, even placed at state. To this day I still love to swim and log at least 1½ miles once a week at the gym. On family vacations Dan and I spend the majority of our mornings surfing… I’m not much of a surfer, so I spend most of those mornings getting pummeled by waves… I definitely have a healthy respect for the ocean…

Last Thursday my amazing/wonderful/sweet/thoughtful husband surprised me with my first ever paddle-board! J (I’ve been pining for one ever since our last trip to Hawaii) Therefore the beach was a MUST this past weekend!

Not wasting any time, I drag all 10’ of the board into the ocean, climb on and CRASH… the first baby wave dumps me into the FREEZING Pacific… Ok, so this is NOT Waikiki…there are no gentle rolling waves (rather 4ft-7ft swells) and the rocks underfoot are no substitute for the beautiful, forgiving Hawaiian sand. After several more failed attempts to get out past the breaks, I give up and decided to swim the board’s giant blue and white stripes out there. This was a long process because, in my eagerness, I forgot to attach the board’s leash. (Meaning, if I let go for a second the next wave sent the board flying back to the beach and I would have to chase it down.) 20 minutes later, I have successfully made it out… now it’s time to have some FUN! Paddle, paddle, paddle… yea buddy!!! Next thing I know, I look up and remember thinking “this is not good…” a random, GIANT, freak wave was…. SMASH!!!…. sending my paddleboard airborne and Matt running for the ocean. I was under a long time… long enough to remember Acts 13:36 “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep…” (Out of the whole Bible, THAT is what came to mind!?!) I wasn’t sure if I was swimming down or up anymore, but when I FINALLY reached the surface, I had enough time to take exactly one breathe…then it was back to being whirled around like a rag doll. I think I started to panic when I heard the next wave approaching… enough time for 2 quick breaths and (you guessed it) BAM! When I emerged, I lost it and started screaming for help; it was no use, I was too far out and the set wasn’t close to being over….SMASH! When I popped back up I could see that the current was pulling me farther and farther away from shore. “Definitely, not good…Ok, Danielle start swimming…” CRASH… Finally, the strength of the waves began to lessen; I was SO tired and still about 200 yards from shore. I knew enough to swim with the current, but I was absolutely exhausted (must have been the 5 miles I ran that morning). Matt had made it out to the board, but when he saw the look on my face he abandoned it and started swimming straight towards me. I was still choking on water as he picked me up and began swimming the both of us back to shore. By this time, another guy (who lived on the beach and had witnessed me go down) had reached us and helped retrieve the paddle-board. Exhausted we trekked onto the beach and collapsed. “Thank you Lord!” When we finally made it back to our beach site, our dear friends, Jason and Tamera (who had just arrived) were wondering why Matt had “just left his blackberry (a.k.a. his life) laying out on the beach…”


Miller Family said...

yeah see you just confirmed why I am content to just sit in my chair and enjoy LOOKING at the waves!! So glad you made it out alive!:)

Rothaus Family said...

not an adventure I want to have. I guess all that swimming served you well. I am so thankful you are alright.
missing you,

jenny said...

i'm cracking up at holly's comment...she was just telling me how she would much rather watch everything.
sounds like fun though

Dodson Family said...

oh my goodness -you told me about this but I didn't realize!! that is sooo scary! the ocean is so powerful and unpredictable!!! so glad you are safe. I'll watch with Holly.