A few weeks ago, I strolled through Instagram looking for beach pictures. I was stuck on lock down and needed a virtual vacation. I was drawn into stand up paddle boarding. I was sucked in because of the beautiful scenery. The peace, the water, and the gorgeous natural backdrops screamed for me to try it. I scoured the internet to find a good deal. I found a great deal at Wal-mart on my Uenjoy paddleboard. My board is inflatable, which is helpful when you don’t have a rack on your car. It comes with the paddle, air pump, a fin, a repair kit, and the carrying case (super large book bag). It’s a great deal for all that comes in the package.
I decided to try it right away. While I was out paddling for the first time, I felt inspired by the beauty I encountered. I also wished I had more friends to go out with me. I understand that everyone likely will not want to be out on water, with only a board holding you up. I also wished I had a go pro camera to document the beauty. A cell phone doesn’t begin to capture the color and the lines of the wide open lake and tree line. Until then, I’ll document it in words.
Obstacles: My first time out, I tripped over the rocks. I walked my board down to the water line and laid my board out on the water. McDowell Park has a beautiful lake that I wanted to try out. I had to laugh at myself when I nearly fell in the water. But I persevered. I refuse to let obstacles stop me from achieving my goals, in the water or in life. I regained my balance and crawled on top of my board.
Balance: My stomach did flips. I had already tripped, so I was nervous I would fall off the board in front of all of the fisherman on the lake. I steadied my board and climbed on carefully. I sat on my knees until I felt steady. I didn’t feel courageous enough to try and stand all the way up. In life, take baby steps until you feel more confident. However, you gotta keep pushing and trying.
Slow Down: I almost got caught in a fishing line. There is a pier at the edge of the lake. There was this guy fishing on the pier. When I first got on my board, I was kneeling and decided to take off in the water, like I was in a kayak. I twirled in circles and started towards his fishing line. He freaked out, I freaked out. I nearly fell off my board. I slowly creeped back to the water line and decided to try it all over again. It’s perfectly fine to start over, in life and on your board.
Relax and Enjoy the Ride: Once I started over, I began to figure out what worked for me. I got off the board at the water line and caught my breath. I had to steady my nerves. There were people staring, but I refused to give up. I crawled back on my board, and sat down. I remembered all the techniques I learned from Youtube and began to paddle. I was able to navigate around the fishing line and wave at the bystanders.
I learned a lot that day. First, I learned that I want to paddle every river and lake in the world! I have been researching places like crazy. I’m addicted. Second, I was able to use that time to reflect on how I want to be as a person in my everyday life…serene. Finally, I hope many more people decide to try new things. Don’t be scared! You got this!