It really was another world.

When I was still sliding into the depths of darkness, and hadn’t quite figured out there was something very wrong a few years ago now, I went to New Caledonia with some special people to visit some other special people. I wish I could go back and experience it again, without the veil that covered most of the trip. Maybe it would have been less stressful for the others too… Maybe.

One thing that I have kept with me though, was the feeling of freedom when exploring the reefs – we got a water taxi out, and would go explore, and then go back to Noumea. And on the Friday, it was a catamaran to Phare Amédée and a swim around the island. It was the sound the parrotfish made while eating the coral – the pufferfish, angelfish, and clownfish, the tricot raye, the swimming with various sharks, turtles, giant travelly… And they were some of the best days I’ve had. It was a calm in a storm I wasn’t quite aware of yet. I could hear the thunder, but wasn’t sure how close it really was. I just can’t help but wonder how much more vivid they could have been?

Anyway, its been quite a few months. I’ve had to start from scratch back at the gym… and we’re not even going to talk about the pool. My lungs really aren’t what they used to be, and it turns out pneumonia takes a very long time to recover from – and some people don’t. I can’t wait to get into open water though – I’m hoping that may make training more enjoyable. But that the same time, I’m keenly aware of how quickly I still tire. I should be used to this level of frustration by now, but somehow, I’m not. I guess I’m always going to expect myself to be better than I am. Go farther, lift more, train harder. I love the drive, the accomplishment, the serotonin. The fact that I am going to continually be limited is something I want to ignore, but need to be mindful of.

So I’m keeping busy in other ways. I’ve judged a couple of rec grade freediving comps, worked on comms and sponsorship for some athletes. Built some more websites, and just carried on carrying on. It’s coming up to the end of the year and things are about to get very interesting across several levels. I can’t talk about them all yet, but it’s going to be a fun lesson and great personal development.

There are projects on the needles and yarn in baskets. A pile of books sits next to my bed. David Gilmour’s Rattle that Lock and Elbow’s Seldom Seen Kid are frequently on my playlist. I have a post I need to write about music, moods and those songs that hit you between the eyes. Next time.

For now, I’m listening to cricket (SA vs India), and remembering what it was like to swim with the fish. I can’t wait to do something like that again.