Knowing When To Exhale

Aaron McHugh

I used to hold my breath a lot. I remember regularly noticing myself not breathing throughout the day, but instead holding-waiting. It took me years to develop this skill. When something challenging in life occurred, I’d take a gulp and hold while the next wave would crash over me. I told myself I was like a Navy Seal who needed to endure continual sets of crashing waves. Between wave sets, I recouped for the next round.

My BUDS training technique for weathering hardship became a way of living, not just a survival tactic. For me, every new sunrise camouflaged a brewing tropical storm. I found myself unable to enjoy the tranquil calm water. I see now how many of the waves were much more significant than I knew. I’m more courageous than I remembered. Some of the waves were imagined. Navigating large sets of waves became apart of my identity, and so I sought out every ripple.

The more valuable skill is knowing when to exhale and take in a fresh breath. It’s required as much practice to become the kind of person who can be content sipping a cold beer on the shore enjoying the sun.

Learn how to take the wave.
Celebrate calm water.
Live free.