We have tides in our life. Just as the waves in the ocean rise and fall based on gravitational forces exerted by the moon, sun and other factors, the health we experience throughout our lives follows the same archetypical pattern of advance and retreat.
When we are younger, the tide is behind us, carrying us forward constantly. In our youth, we often think we are invincible and if we stop exercising and abuse our bodies, the tide will still carry us through.
However, there is a mid-point in life when the tide goes slack and the free ride is over. During this time many of us begin to realize that the work not done during the “free ride time” needs to be made up for. This is when a majority of people start an exercise program and start to eat more consciously.
In our later years the tide inevitably turns against us and this aftermath is reflected in physical weakness, compromised balance, frail bones, waning memory and illness. The final tide can be likened to an experience in which one is thrown onto the rocky shoreline, never to ride a wave again.
This progression of the tide does not need to be such an inevitable journey of demise from stage to stage. We can turn the tide. We can learn to ride the waves of wellness so effortlessly that the last ride is carried up to the shoreline with a graceful exit.
In order to head in this direction and in control of the waves, we must practice “kedging” in our daily life. Kedging is an old nautical term from the 1900s for a process of maneuvering large engineless ships in and out of tight harbors. Sailors would take longboats and row out one of the ship’s smaller anchors in the direction they wanted to move the bigger ship. They would then drop the anchor after they ran out of cable. These sailors would go back to the larger ship and pull it towards the anchor. This process was performed in a slow, arduous manner until the larger ship arrived into harbor.
We must continually be setting sights forward and learning how to drop an anchor for ourselves thereby setting a goal, a plan and an intention. This means of “life kedging” will allow us to ride waves that we are in control of, instead of inevitably being surprised and engulfed by waves we cannot handle.
Wellness is all about intentional day-to-day planning and preparation, and a large part of the journey can be maneuvered to ensure a pleasant ride in the sea of life.