Weighty Matters

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Independence Day

on July 4, 2014

Before I go out to join friends for dinner and then we all come back here to watch the city’s fireworks, I wanted to jump on and wish everyone a Happy Independence Day. I’ve had a wonderful day so far. My friends and I were off from work and had planned a couple of weeks ago to go out on my boat today.

I woke up to a perfect morning of sunny skies and a very light breeze. My three friends arrived and we loaded our cooler and snorkel gear onto my boat and headed out. I had a particular spot in mind, located in a marine sanctuary area, and we hoped to get onto a mooring ball. I’ve said before how much pleasure I get out of being on the water and captaining my boat. These particular friends hadn’t been out with me before. One is an experienced boater who goes all of the time with her husband. The other two are infrequently passengers on boats. All of us were game.

Luck and timing were with us. We arrived at the snorkel spot just as one of the commercial snorkel boats ended their morning trip so we latched onto the mooring ball that they gave up. The water was the near perfect temperature with excellent clarity. I think after we first went in we swam around for at least an hour. Good exercise. I’ll post some pictures at the end of this post but we saw colorful fish, beautiful corals and were right over a sea turtle! When we climbed back on board the boat for a snack we saw a dolphin in the distance! (No photos, alas.) After lunch, we jumped back in and snorkeled for about another half an hour.

At one point while I was swimming, I brought myself totally into the moment. I didn’t just look at the beauty around me, I tapped into how I physically felt. I noted the strength of my legs propelling me through the water and how strong I felt swimming event against the tide. I listened to my easy breathing. When it was time to get out, I felt the ease with which I navigated the boat ladder. Even before that, when loading things on, I’d smiled at how I no longer have difficulty climbing in and out of my boat.

This was how I celebrated my personal Independence Day on this 4th of July. I enjoyed my freedom from most of my excess weight and from struggling to do anything the least bit physical. I was free from worry and stress over whether I’d be able to do something – like climb out of the water up the ladder. Free from joint pain.

I was there as an independent woman who didn’t need anyone else to run her boat and take her out to do an activity. Instead, I was the woman who could take her friends out so that all of us could enjoy the time and experience together.

Thanks to my weight loss and increased physical fitness, I am so much healthier and stronger. I am liberated.

Here are some shots from our snorkeling excursion. Beautiful things to see under the sea!


Blue Parrot

Corals on structure

We're still debating whether it was a loggerhead or a hawksbill.  I'm not a good turtle identifier.

We’re still debating whether it was a loggerhead or a hawksbill. I’m not a good turtle identifier.

2 responses to “Independence Day

  1. Lynn Viehl says:

    Former sea turtle rescuer to the rescue — you’ve got a hawksbill there. An easy way to identify them is to count the number of scutes (shell plates) on the side edges. They have four pairs, while loggerheads have five. Also, hawksbills have a narrow jaggy row of scutes on their hind ends that looks like saw teeth. 🙂 Happy belated Fourth, Mary.

    • Mary Stella says:

      Ooh, I didn’t know about counting the shell plates. I thought it was a hawksbill but my friend thought loggerhead. Thank you for the confirmation!

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