I am beginning to realize that it is going to take a little bit more planning to get more than one challenge done at home. Actually what it really boils down to is that i just need to set a stronger intention to seek out more unique experiences in Santa Barbara that I know I have not had. I stopped by the tourism office yesterday and picked up a few brochures and maps. One is titled 101 FREE things to do in Santa Barbara. I highly recommend everyone stop by their local tourism office at some time in their life. It gives you a chance to experience where you live through a different set of eyes. I have lived here for 10 years, but I know there is still SO MUCH that I have yet to uncover about this special place I call home.
What has been great this week thus far is seeking out the new in SB. Going to the top of the courthouse – nestled in the middle of downtown SB, easily the most beautiful view of the city. Visiting the Natural History Museum – it is small, but just like everything else here in SB it is built with such an aesthetic eye, that my two friends I was with and I all agreed that we needed to come back there again soon just to hang out in the courtyard and have lunch.
Thursday’s challenge was a big one. Sailing out to the oil rigs… approximately 2-4 miles offshore of SB. That doesn’t seem like much right?
My whole life I have gotten virtually every type of motion sickness imaginable, with sea sickness always being the worse of them. I can remember getting violent bouts of nausea from just floating on rafts in rivers. Throughout my life I had been on the ocean several times in boats, each time ended with me getting sick. So ocean travel and exploration seemed to be a big impossibility for me.
Over the last couple of years I have set out to face and conquer all my fears. I refuse to live a self imposed limiting life, meaning that I refuse to live my life with fear based limitations that are self imposed. It is one thing for me to be seasick, but for me to be afraid of getting sick, and thus limit my life experience… that for me is unacceptable.
After being reaffirmed from numerous websites and people that you could overcome seasickness if you really worked at it, I set off to do just that. So, for much of the past year I have been slowly building up my “ocean tolerance.” I would spend so many minutes of every dive (scuba), floating at the surface trying to get used to the motion of the ocean. I kayaked, I did stand up paddle surf, I jet skied, and each time I did them, I made sure to spend more and more time just floating. Letting the rolling motion, the motion that seemed to make me sick, move me around as it wished. There were times during this I would get ill, my face definitely turned green on more than one occasion, but despite that I just kept believing I could do this. When I started to feel sick, I did what I have told so many others to do when confronted with a stressful situation, I focused on my breathing, and focused on the outcome I wanted.
As I got more confident I was ready to take it to the next level so I signed up for sailing lessons. I was terrified. Now I was going to be on the open water dealing only with that rolling motion of the ocean that had tormented me for so long. Not only had it tormented me, it had limited me from exploring the world in a different way, it was keeping me from experiencing a part of life that I wanted to experience.
Lesson’s went on for some time and each time I started to get more and more comfortable/confident on the water. There were definitely moments where I thought I was going to spill my guts overboard, but when those moments came I went back to the basics, breathing and focusing on what I wanted.
I have gone out with friends and fellow classmates and “cruised” around in a boat, but never ventured very far off shore for fear of the bigger swells and thus the greater the risk of getting seasick. Thursday January 20th 2011, it was time to put this past me once and for all.
With my housemates as my crew we set off for the oil rigs that are approximately 2-4 miles offshore. The below pictures and the accompanying ones that were posted to Facebook and Twitter yesterday will tell the rest of the story much better than I can. Needless to say WE MADE IT! And not only did we make it, we had a blast doing it. Sure I was a little woozy when I got back to shore, but was just my land and sea legs still not being on the same page, it will come with time.
I do not feel like I have a great deal of fears existing inside of me. The ones that are there, I am excited to face throughout the remainder of this challenge. There are things throughout the challenge that are born from fears that I have overcome – those as well I look to with excitement.
Life is to short to live with self imposed limitations. Society, the world at large, already puts more than enough limitations on us all, there is no sense for us to put any more on ourselves. Our lives are truly what we choose to make them. After yesterday, I am more excited than ever to see what I make this year and the rest of my life into.
Enjoy the pics,