Reclaiming the Road: It’s Easy

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I just got schooled by a 4-year-old named Gillian.

We were swimming laps (kinda sorta) in a hotel pool in Kansas City. Gillian, her sister and I had a good pace going. I swam much longer and farther than if I’d been alone. So maybe two laps in a real pool.

After a few minutes, I peeled off to do push ups by putting my hands on the sides of the pool, pulling my body up, and letting it fall back into the warm salt water.

I had driven from Cincinnati today. The pushups, the swimming, everything in the water felt amazing after driving eight hours straight.

Gillian popped up alongside me. “What are you doing?”

“Pushups. It’s hard,” I said.

“No it’s not. It’s easy.”

She set both hands on the side of the pool and in one fluid, yogi-like motion pushed up and out of the water and curled her legs under her body. “See?”

“We have a challenge!” I said. Gillian’s mom, who was relaxing in a deck chair, smiled.

I put my hands on the side, jumped just a bit for a good start, pushed myself up onto the side of the pool, and raised my arms in victory. “I did it!”

Gillian, of course, had another challenge for me. We went on like that for a while. I wish we could have stayed there all night.

I haven’t had so much fun in a pool in years! Remember those summer days at the neighborhood pool? Seeing who could do the most laps, who could hold their breath the longest, who could mimic the synchronized swimmers’ moves from the Olympics.

I was there, 6 years old again playing with friends in the pool, tonight.

And I am reclaiming this road. The same road I drove from Cincinnati to Los Angeles in 2013, under much different circumstances.

I had wondered if I should make this trip alone. Would the drive be too long? Would I feel safe as I #viajo sola? What if some weirdo wouldn’t leave me alone? On top of that, isn’t this all too much time to take for myself? Shouldn’t I be making widgets somewhere?

It might be hard. That’s what I thought so many times, before stepping on the gas for the first of 2100 miles alone.

But I wasn’t alone, not at all. And no, it wasn’t hard. It was easy. It was fun. It was scary (twice – but there again, I was not alone). Thank you Gillian.

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