It had been 12 years since I was last on a bike. I remember falling off the bike – it was adjusted to a 6 foot 2 inch tall body. This five foot 3 inch tall body fell more than once, racked myself, bled and became bruised. I oppressed those memories now, buried them deep, put on my bikini and hopped onto the large 10 -speed, a bike I had borrowed from a friend I had just met 2 weeks ago. Never feeling so perfect or free, I coasted downhill for a magical mile along the oceanside on the Big Island of Hawaii. My destination, the famous nude black sand beach, where dolphins come in daily to rest and play. The moment I arrived I saw 100 fins in the bay. I forgot about the bike, took off my bikini top, put on my mask & snorkel, ran across the smoldering black sand and dove into the crystal clear liquid to join my aquatic friends. They were way out there. It felt like I had been swimming at least 30 minutes, and looking around I felt like I was in the middle of the ocean, alone, except for the school of fins calling me to them. I was almost there.
The ocean floor was getting further and further away. It must have been 300 feet below me, the water was so clear I could see every fish, coral and seaweed with clarity. I also saw a school of barracuda in the distance. No fear entered me. I’ll never forget how on this particular day, at this particular moment, I had NO fear, none, zero, zip, zilch, nada. Thinking back, it doesn’t even make sense. I just kept swimming, it was dolphins or bust at this point, I had come too far.
After a 45 minute swim I made it to them, hundreds swimming in formation, in a pattern, and then a few random dolphins – the watch dolphins, who were protecting the others as they slept. I had to swim fast to keep up with them, and then sometimes they would slow down or swim back towards me. They came close, again zero fear. The other thing I will never forget – while in their presence I went into a trance, a meditative state, and I lost my ability to think of anything – except one thought over and over again, which was “I love you, I love you so much, thank you for letting me be here with you.” When they were done checking me out, it was so incredibly obvious – they just swam away, period. There was no way I had any chance of following them.
And then I was truly alone, and the beach was very very far away. Fear kicked in. I swam as fast as I could, praising my college swim coach for teaching me proper swimming techniques, making it possible to haul ass back to shore. Back on land, filled with adrenaline, love, and black sand I knew I had just experienced one of the best moments of my life. I looked at my phone – 2 and a half hours had gone by. It was an epic moment.