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Feet In The Sand

May 2017 Sand generally refers to the coarse-textured (less than 2-millimeter) mineral fraction of soil. ... The large pore space […]
By
Wendy Jones
February 9, 2020

May 2017

Sand generally refers to the coarse-textured (less than 2-millimeter) mineral fraction of soil. ... The large pore space found in sandy soil is also poor at holding water. This makes for good drainage, but can also make for sad-looking, nutrient- and water-starved plants in the garden. - Soil Science Society of America *(yes, this exists)

The springtime California sun was shining, my muscles were tight and tired from my adventure, and George Strait’s Amarillo by Morning was blaring from my speakers as I made my way slowly through the Friday traffic. Waze had detoured me on my way back from Malibu, off the always nasty 405 freeway, but especially so Friday’s, and I found myself in Venice Beach, home of the trendy and offbeat, and pretty much everything that I am not. As I headed back toward Hermosa Beach, I was feeling strong and revived from three days of activity at XPT Malibu where I exercised in my favorite element, water,  ate the most delicious and healthy food, heard from thought provoking speakers on longevity and living the good life, and was inspired, strengthened, and educated on the benefits of breath work and recovery by legendary big wave surfer Laird Hamilton and his wife, the stunningly strong mom, athlete, and powerhouse in her own right Gabby Reece.  

Hermosa Beach was the place we had called home for the past four years, even though we had been spending summers there since 2006. Now it was 2017 and I was divorced, and headed home to a quieter house without a husband, to get ready for my oldest daughter’s Confirmation that evening at St. James Church. Oh, the irony in that statement. How did my rule following, country music loving, Catholic, married for almost 20 years with four kid self end up here with my feet in the sand? I remember saying in college that I wouldn’t date anyone from south of the grapevine because I hated LA. But here I was, with this sense of absolute dread for the mistakes I had made, but also with a burgeoning sense of purpose that was fighting it’s way through - movement by movement and with each growth mindset podcast and writing session. Thanks to Soho Yoga, Finding Mastery, beach volleyball, weekly trips to church and daily dips in the Pacific, I was seeing a light that I hadn’t ever seen before. My saving grace at this point was that I knew I had four kids who were exactly who they are supposed to be and I could never receive a greater gift in this lifetime.

My mind drifted back to another springtime, 1996, sitting on the Good Stuff patio at 21 with Ryan, people skating by on the Strand, volleyball just beyond that, chatting with his friend that had just made an extreme sports movie, if I remember correctly it was about skiing.  I had never been around this type of energy - free flowing and intoxicating - and I wanted to be a part of it.  To look at the Pacific Ocean, or better yet swim in it, and feel your feet in the sand everyday… was this real life? But I remember even then, as a six foot tall, tan and strong girl in her early twenties, I looked the part, but didn’t feel any sense that I belonged.  There was that inadequacy that always seemed to rear its ugly head.  That feeling that I had to prove myself and yet simultaneously told me to let whoever I was attached to at the time step in front to shine, while I played second fiddle and observed and organized from behind them.  Why didn’t I even take up the space that was physically mine back then, youth on my side and a world full of infinite possibility? Short answer, because my insides didn’t match my outsides and 21 years later I had finally identified that crippling problem. 

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About the author:
Wendy Jones is a mother of four, lifelong athlete, writer, and optimism & resilience coach and speaker. Through 20 years of parenting and relationship struggles, she believes that vulnerability and our willingness to share our stories is a way to heal ourselves

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