I never swim late in the day because the water is darker and fewer people are out. But today, the later afternoon was the only time I had.
The wind had picked up, and the beach was empty. I was tempted to turnaround and leave. I finally saw someone else in the water, and I decided to head in.
I was still nervous and hugged the shoreline. It’s comforting when I can see the bottom, and I have an exit strategy even if it means clambering over the rocks. I was getting pushed around by waves in the shallows, and the visibility sucked. It was exhausting. I realized I was paying for my anxiety.
When I turned for home, I decided to go deep and swim out into the deeper water channel. Everything inside of my head and around me calmed immediately down. The swells were more spaced out, and the visibility was spectacular. I got out of my head and focused on one stroke at a time.
There’s a tax to mitigating risk. My mitigation was swimming close to the shoreline, and the charge was a bumpy, murky ride. No fun. Once I was more comfortable, I didn’t have to pay that tax anymore, and I went deep. It paid off that afternoon.
If you de-risk your life, be prepared to pay the tax.