Friday, July 10, 2015

Life's little setbacks

This morning, my dragon boating teammates are driving to Vancouver, British Columbia, taking a ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. They will be paddling in the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival this weekend. They'll be staying in the Painted Turtle Guesthouse, a renovated heritage hostel near the waterfront in quaint, downtown Nanaimo.

They'll be hosted by a friendly, fun-loving Canadian dragon boat team. There will be music, dancing and merriment after the races.

For months, I've been anticipating this mini-vacation to Nanaimo. Despite its relative proximity to home, I've never been to Vancouver Island. But alas! It wasn't meant to be.

Although my teammates have left, I am lying on my couch icing my leg and nursing an injured hamstring. Disappointment does not begin to convey my feelings.

But that's life, isn't it? As Mick Jagger and the Stones said, you don't always get what you want. In fact, we often get the opposite of what we wanted.

Was I injured dragon boating?  Skating in roller derby? Backpacking? Kayaking? Running a marathon? Running with the bulls? Sadly, no.

I wish I had an amazing, adventurous story about my injury, but here's the truth: I was climbing up onto the running board of a very, very, very high pickup truck. It was a long stretch for my short hobbit legs. Immediately, I knew I'd pulled something. I've been icing my hamstring and hobbling around like an old lady ever since.

Through the trials and tribulations of the past five years, I've learned a thing or two. First, life rarely happens exactly as we plan it. Second, the secret to living joyfully is learning to go with the flow and to appreciate the simple things when the current takes you someplace unexpected.

This weekend my unexpected adventure will be relaxing, icing my hamstring, reading a good book and savoring the juicy blackberries outside my front door.

And even from my couch, I'll be cheering for the Mighty Women as they paddle in Nanaimo.