since 1998

personal website: joe crawford. code. occasional comics. toy robots. bodysurfing. san diego. california. say hi.

The water this morning was clear and perfect. It was my first time to bodysurf at the Jetty in the early morning since the Stingray Incident on the early morning of July 19. I’ve been cautious and have tended to go to the beach in the late afternoon and evening sessions. And shuffling my feet more diligently. Getting stabbed in the foot definitely affected my responses—how I carry myself in the water. I have felt myself relearning the ocean. For many weeks nearly everything in the water set off a fight-or-flight response which I had to manage and learn to process anew. “That’s not a stingray, that’s a bunch of kelp. That’s not a stingray that’s a rock. That’s not a stingray, that’s some trash. And even, that’s not a stingray I’m looking at, that’s my own shadow.” The fear didn’t keep me from swimming, but it reminds me that as a kid I saw Jaws at age 6 and I remember imagining sharks in the water then. I had moments in the water where I worked up a fear based on imagined threats. It’s been an incredible opportunity to experience that again, and learn to manage those feelings and emotions in a way that’s proportionate to the threat. There are definitely critters and currents that demand respect and attention in the water, but like learning to walk in a city or drive in traffic, it can be learned. I consider this all in the category of “know thyself.”

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