Sheer Will

When I was growing up, my family spent most of summer (and some of spring and autumn too) out on the lake. I even had my own infant-sized life jacket. That’s how early it started.

I once read somewhere that families that go camping together are much closer than families who don’t. My family has only gone camping once, and let’s just say it’s not for us. We spent the night huddled together for warmth and crying. We all agree that we probably almost died and we’re never doing that again.

But that’s okay, we’re still very close. Waterskiing is our camping. We work as a team out on the boat. We fight the elements. We help each other and we teach each other. We make fond memories. See? It’s just like camping, only fun. And I mean it when I say we lived for this. We’d all wake up before the sun, even when my sisters and I were toddlers. It would be cold and dark, but the water was perfectly smooth. We’d ski all morning, then break for a big lunch/breakfast. We worked up a huge appetite, and the table was full to Thanksgiving levels. Eggs, sausage, potatoes, bacon, rolls, fruit, it was a feast. Then we’d take a nap. Then we’d head right back to the lake to swim and tube and maybe ski a little more if there weren’t too many jet skis tearing up the water. That pretty much sums up my childhood. I loved every second of it.

Then, somewhere between m growing up and the boat wearing out, we started going less and less. I got married, my sister and I moved away to college, and the boat got sadder and more broken every year. We still go out a couple of times a summer. It usually involves paddling the boat back to shore, and that somehow always happens in a storm. But this is family time. Nobody minds, and nobody would miss it for the world. In fact, this year there was one day we all probably should have just said no, but…

Nobody says no to a boating adventure. That’s why recently, when we were at my Aunt and Uncle’s new lake house, I went out on the boat even though my body was letting me know in every way possible that it was a bad, bad idea. Not only was I having a particularly bad chronic pain day, but I also had a little fever flu thing. I was so, SO sick. A lot sicker than usual. But it was fathers day, and by golly we were going to go skiing. How could I miss that?!


I took a ziploc baggie full of pain pills, cold and flu pills, and frankly any other pills I had lying around and popped them all day. And by sheer will I got through it. I even skied. And that made it all worth it. I think this was the first time my husband had ever seen me ski. Of course, I was honest with him about how bad I felt, and told him not to expect much. I was sure I wouldn’t get up on my first try. Really I wasn’t sure I’d get up at all. The thought of fighting water and physics when I could barely see straight made me feel a bit faint. Heck, I was going to attempt to really use all my muscles in an EXTREME way – keeping in mind that since I’ve been sick, my “muscles” get most of their workout going up and down stairs every now and then.

But you know what? I got up. On my first try.

I could see my husband on the boat and his face was priceless. Pure shock and awe. I felt like a superhero. I felt like I could do anything.


Then, of course, I went home and crashed. Hard. But that was fine. That happens, that’s life. The low was worth it for such a high.

Yeah, I probably made a few bad decisions in there. Yeah, it was risky and I could have gotten hurt. Yeah, I could stand to be more transparent with my parents and honest about days when I don’t feel well. But I can’t say it’s not nice to know that by sheer willpower I can do what everyone else does. I don’t look sick. I can fool people.

Betcha I even fooled you. I really, really didn’t feel like writing a post today. I’ve had a really hard week. I’ve done a lot of hard work. I haven’t been taking very good care of myself. Since getting fired, a lot has been thrown off track. A lot of good has come of it, but there’s an awful lot of bad. Today we got particularly bad news. It was looking like life was really starting to fall in to place for a second there, but financial troubles have foiled our plans once again.

I’m sad and I’m tired.

But while I was writing this, through sheer will, I even tricked myself into feeling a little better, briefly. I guess that’s the trick, isn’t it? You just have to will yourself to keep going.


11 thoughts on “Sheer Will

  1. Hi girl— I loved loved the pictures— you were an adorable child also!!!! πŸ™‚ My idea of camping is in the RV!!!!! (with a furnace & air conditioner & kitchen & bathroom & bed– & TV– &-&-&-&-&-&-&-&!!! πŸ™‚ I know what ya mean about forcing your self– & the older I get the harder it is to force– & sometimes now –it isn’t possible!!! And I even have to ask for help!!!!! Me the one who can do it all if I try hard enough!!! πŸ™‚
    I’m sorry for your set back– BUT I do believe with all my being God has a great plan for you & your hubby–you are going through some real growing growth right now– to even make you closer & give you the experience you need- to be able to achieve the plan God has for you!! You are loved– & I’m sorry not all is the total best right now— BUT– Honey child– I am so looking forward to hearing your good news when God believes you are ready for HIS great plan for you both!!! Bless your little heart!!!! Thanks for blogging even when ya didn’t feel like it– Tomorrow is my 1 yr anniversary of my blog– & I want to blog & do some pictures– I am with you– I don’t feel like it– BUT– on ward & up ward!!! πŸ™‚

    1. I seem to be in very good company on not being a fan of camping haha. I think we all love nature, but come night fall we need our creature comforts. πŸ˜‰

      Thank you so so much for your note of encouragement. Every day I think this is it! God’s making things happen! Then I try really hard to move things along and God just keeps saying wait, wait, wait. Then I throw a temper tantrum. πŸ˜‰ I can hardly wait for good news – ANY good news – to come! But I have no choice but to wait. Maybe I’ll get good at it. πŸ˜›

      Like you said, onward and upward! πŸ™‚ Hugs. Love you so much, I hope I get to come see you in Branson soon. πŸ˜€

  2. Rachel – I loved the pictures! You like you did as a little girl. Those pictures are priceless. My parents never really camped – my husband’s family did so we tried to take our daughters every summer.

    You know I think we all want to forget we are sick and that our bodies hurt for a little while and we make decisions that aren’t the best for us. But for a brief period of time we feel like super heroes and a little normal.

    We never know what is our divine plan in life. You have given us some wonderful times here on this blog. We are all here cheering you on.

    I am sitting here trying to eat a burger wrapped in lettuce and thought it would be okay but it is causing my jaw site where the extraction happened scream out in pain. I think I may have to cut it into bite size pieces.

    1. Teehee thank you. And thank you so much for saying this blog gives you wonderful times and that you’re cheering for me – that’s one of the most encouraging comments I’ve ever gotten!

      I feel ya on the trying to eat after a tooth ordeal. I’ve had my share of tooth work and I’ve had…4? Teeth pulled I think. And while the tooth pain itself is very bad, the jaw stuff is just aggravating! It’s so annoying, it feels like your face forgot how to open your mouth! I’ve definitely cut up my share of meals. I remember having to cut up thin crust pizza. THIN CRUST could not fit into my mouth, I couldn’t bite THIN CRUST?? Embarrassing. I’m impressed you’re taking on a burger! Much thicker. πŸ˜‰

  3. I will pray, Rachel. I will ask God to send you angels to lift you and support you. To send His Spirit to soothe you, calm you, and to allow you to see hope and vision when it feels there is none. Is this an okay prayer for you and the situation? I enjoyed the post and photos. They look like the ones they always flash on movies when they’re showing old photos of the people portrayed in the movies. Like the Kennedy’s having fun or something. Trite encouragement but from my heart: Hang in there.

  4. Oh, totally! Tricking oneself is a fav pastime of mine. But still, be careful because it can all catch up (as you already know). But it’s great to be able to do that and have fun and be normal for a change. πŸ™‚

    Miche x

  5. Love this post and your photos are gorgeous. There is an advantage to having invisible illness, we can fool people to push through and do what we want. I hope the payoff for having skied calms down really soon. Take it as easy as you can until then.

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