I am pulling my kayak back to the garage. It's on a small cart made of two wheels, two bars and straps. The kayak is big and cumbersome. Ahead in the pathway is a lady moving slow. She is using a walker, and she leans to one side. A landscape man pulling a garden cart has cut through a green space to get past her. I slow down so I will meet her at the end of the path where there is plenty room for both of us.
As we meet, she asks, "I bet that's a lot of work isn't it?"
At this moment the kayak is gliding along, so I pause to think if it really is work. Sometimes when not positioned just right, the kayak slides off. When first putting it on the cart, it usually takes a few tries to get it just right. Before I even get the kayak, there's the checking of the waves and wind, the finding of the right-season wetsuit; the question whether I even need a wetsuit; the gathering of the garage opener, the key; putting the paddle together, and finally pulling the kayak out to the sand, dragging it into the water; timing the first waves, fighting the current. At paddle's end, bringing the kayak in, rinsing the paddle and wetsuit...
I take a breath and respond, "Yes, it's a lot of work."
She smiles, I smile.
"But it's worth it!" I have to add, because there's nothing like the splash of a wave hitting my face; nothing like catching a wave and riding it all the way to shore; nothing like paddling with dolphins; nothing like having a wave curl and thinking it's going to crash me to pieces and it doesn't. Woooohooo! Nothing like cutting along the shore with the big blue sky smiling on my efforts.
I measure her condition and notice a heavy brace on her leg. Her slow steps, her gait. What did it take to get out of bed, down the elevator---what will it take for her to get into the pool?
I admire her hard work too. I say, "Just like your hike to the pool. It's hard work, but it's worth it."
She agrees, and in that one small encounter, I continue thinking about hard work opportunities and not one, has never not been worth the effort.