The Zodiac 180

Turn an aircraft carrier or a cruise ship on the water and it takes a while. Passengers and crew hardly notice the change in trajectory – under normal circumstances anyway. Your body begins to sense the rotation but you don’t have to hang on, brace out, or hook on to life lines.

Take a tight turn on a 35 footer and you’re gonna’ notice that pull a whole lot more. You might need to hang on to something, set your feet to braced and drop your center of gravity lower into the boat. If you weren’t ready for it, you might get tossed across the cockpit, knock your head on a gunwale, it isn’t going to be comfortable.

Do a 180 in a Zodiac? If you don’t turn with the boat, lock-in, and drop that center of gravity; you will absolutely be waiving to the boat as it speeds off on a new heading while your body gets un-assed from the vessel in the opposite direction. Smile and waive, baby. You’re gonna’ get wet.

Our zodiacs have hard-180’ed. That hard turn on shelter-in-place orders, business shut-downs, financial losses, human losses.

How’d you do? You still in, or did you inflate that PFD (personal flotation device) and are swimming for …. well … anything with a solid connection to reality?

Not really a binary experience. We’re all probably doing a little of both.

And I’m certain we are not yet through with these sudden turns.

Whitewater rafting up in Northern California some years back our guide was running through the safety protocols for when (not if) we would end up in the water. He called it “swimming”. Not my idea of swimming, I laughed. Wasn’t laughing when those Class 4 rapids and I were in an up close personal conversation, while I was ummmm, swimming.

I find myself right now in equal parts “swimming” and turning with my Zodiac. It’s a moment-by-moment proposition. I’d like to believe I’m tacti-cool and am all Navy SEAL hunkered down in my Zodiac killing it. Yeah….about that.

Adversity introduces you to yourself.

We discover what adaptation requires of us. We confront our resistances to reality when we don’t like that reality. Our defense (and tactical defensive) mechanisms announce themselves in our operating system. Our fear, how and when we feel vulnerable, our defaults and our need for a Bad Guy to blame when we are suddenly “swimming”, crowd out our cruise-ship level mechanisms for gentle, subtle shifts in life.

Survival demands adaptation. Your coping mechanisms and capacity for adaptation are 100% yours. You choose. Moment-by-moment. Consciously or unconsciously. You are choosing. Right now. You are answering questions presented by the physical universe.

Who will you be today?

What will your impact be?

How will you govern the power you possess?

There are moments my answer to those questions are not …. fit for public consumption. There are other moments my eyes narrow as I lock-on to my invisible Threat – quietly and emphatically throwing out a challenge – go ahead mother-f#$&er -give it your best shot.

Give yourself a second. Take stock. Let yourself be angry, frustrated, touch the despair if it’s there. Then look up – swim – get back in the damned boat. Find a reason to adapt and get back on-mission.

The universe needs you in the boat.

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