I’m generally a “can do” kind of person. I spent my youth as a competitive athlete and my professional career in real estate has given me lots of opportunity to flex that “can do” muscle. But my “can do” attitude recently got the better of me.
I was on vacation in Hawaii and the group wanted to go on a 7.5 hour boat tour. The trip went out to some of the smaller islands and included a lunch break to snorkel in the beautiful waters. I had done a shorter 3 hour tour a few years ago in Mexico and survived so although hesitant I figured I would just muscle my way through this. Everyone was excited about this adventure and I wanted us all to have fun.
Did I mention I’ve suffered from extreme motion sickness my entire life? Oh yeah, it’s bad.
We hit the boat at 6:30 am and of course we were seated on the top deck. Ok, I can do this.
My group quickly left me to move to the front of the boat and see the dolphins that were swimming with us. With some urging I joined them. I can do this. By the time we stopped to snorkel I had already thrown up and was given a prime spot at the back of the boat where as few people as possible could witness my humiliation.
I don’t have words to describe the mental battle I waged for the next 3 hours. The waves (pun completely intended) of intense nausea was followed by hanging off the back of the boat vomiting. There were times I thought I was going to pass out. At one point I remember hyperventilating and I had to talk myself out of a full-blown panic attack. I cried out for help and there was no one there… I had to get myself through this.
This is not the most glamorous story to share but I believe everything happens for a reason and there is a lesson to be learned in all experiences (good and bad). My lesson: have a can do attitude but know your limits and put yourself first. I wasn’t looking out for myself by trying to please everyone else and although I’ve recovered, I put myself through a kind of torture that could have been avoided. I knew better. A short car drive in the passenger seat often leaves me green. In retrospect, I should have sent them on without me and spent the day at the spa. We all would have felt better for it. Being a people pleaser has always been something I’ve struggled with.
On the motion sickness front here are some tips for any of you fellow suffers:
- Sea bands or just holding the pressure points on your wrists
- Ginger ale
- And my new favorite courtesy of Captain Chris, beer
Note: None of these helped and the beer was the worse suggestion ever (thanks Captain Chris!)