Tuesday, March 26, 2013


As always, spring break came and went in a flash. We landed a great week at our little time-share in Sarasota. It could have been low '80's for our taste, but we were fine with low to mid- '70's and didn't have a day when we couldn't lay in the sun. Our spring break "traditions" tend to find us as soon as the plane lands. We just pick up where we left off the last time we were there. We watch NCAA games (this year, we were a week early, so we watched conference championships instead), play tennis and shuffleboard, swim, walk the beach, read books, and hot tub. We walk the boardwalk every morning. We play Hearts and Farkle. We drive up to St. Armand's Square at night, buy our ice cream cones, and walk past the wealthy people in the tony restaurants eat their $48 red snapper dinners under the umbrellas on the sidewalks. We go up to the game room and shoot pool. This year, we watched a family of dolphins put on a display close to shore. A whole week of no work, no deadlines, and no expectations. It always feels as if our bodies and souls need this break. Sam was especially needing this with a grueling semester.

Sam swimming in the gulf

The highlight of our trip was a day we will talk about for years to come. We heard about an "adventure course" (Sam and I think the sport should be called carabinering, but that is not a word) where you get yourself from treetop platform to treetop platform, 25-35 feet off the ground on things like wobbly planks, swinging ropes, nets, and zip-lines. We decided to try it. We were harnessed in with mountain climbing gear, complete with carabiners and zip-line pulleys to attach ourselves to the overhead cables. 

They trained us, then set us loose on 5 courses with increasing levels of difficulty. I hate heights, but surprisingly had no fear! It was exhilarating! We were tired after the first two courses (almost 2 hours of work), but started the third. I got 3/4 of the way done with the third course and had to quit. My muscles were trembling, but I was proud that I had taken my body to its absolute limit. The guys went on to complete the third course and were ready to call it a day as well.  Dick and Sam were pretty proud that I kept up! Dick thought I might back down after seeing the climb up to the very first platform! No doubt I was the oldest woman on the courses that day, and no doubt the only one with stage 4 lung cancer, but neither fact slowed this gal down!!

The most amazing thing about our outing was that God took away every bit of my knee and leg pain for the entire time. I mean, I have lived with knee pain now for 11 months, and it is 24/7. It is nothing short of miraculous. He gave me a window without pain to challenge myself and to feel triumphant about doing something I didn't think I could do! And just as amazing was that I, who get headaches from both sun and adrenalin, had NO headache after working that hard IN the sun for nearly 3 hours. It was a divine gift. God is good.

The guys were able to finish by going on a 650-ft zip line which I really wanted to do. I got up the first of three vertical platforms, but my muscles were already so spent, I did not have the strength needed to anchor my hands tightly on the cable handles. I knew I could not go three stories, so I came down, but I tried!!

Did we ache all over the next day? Oh........ Let's just say our abs were so sore that we could barely sit up in bed. Thighs and arms too. You use muscles you never knew you had (well, my anatomist husband knew, obviously, but you get the picture...)! 

As for making new beach-hued memories with my two favorite guys, color me lucky!


Cole said...

THAT...IS...AWESOME!!! Mary, while that time was a divine gift and an absolutely amazing display of your inner strength, I can't help but think God was giving you a glimpse of all that is to come. Time without pain, nor fear of headaches and pushing yourself in such a way, I just love it and I'm so thankful you shared it!! Praise God for such a wonderful week for such a beautiful family!

Rachel J said...

Yeah. This post made me grin from ear to ear.

YES, TO WHAT COLE SAID, ABOUT A GLIMPSE OF ALL THAT IS TO COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!