I went stand up paddleboarding for the first time yesterday. I loved it. I’ve been wanting to try it for years. My first awareness of the activity was a picture of Jennifer Garner doing it Hawaii.
I planned on trying it in San Diego last August. With highs only in the 70’s, I could imagine the temperature of the water. I felt like I was freezing the entire time I was there. I’m from the South, so eating lunch al fresco at 1 p.m. with a cardigan is a foreign concept. Did I mention it was August?
So lucky for me, it was a Groupon. I purchased a half-day option for $69. It was in Virginia. I live in North Carolina. Turns out that it was 3.5 hours each way. Not bad. It was in Southwest Virginia, so I was in the mountains. It was only 61. But with the humidity factored in, it felt warmer than San Diego’s 70.
I came solo, and there two others ladies that were in my group. They were super nice, so I knew this was going to be fun. My instructor, Hank. I’m at a loss for words. This dude was great at instruction, very patient, and very hot. It’s funny because he embodied everything I recently told a friend I wanted in a boyfriend. I told her I wanted a hippie, who is brainy, but really hot. He had a surfer-like build, chin-length blond dreads, and blue eyes. He was dreamy. At one point he tried to help someone who was having difficulty crossing the rapids and fell in. He got back on the board and was dripping wet, and I will admit I don’t know if my mouth was hanging open like, wow this dude is hot. He also had the brainy component, one of the lady’s quizzed him, he’s divorced, he’s been studying two types of engineering but is taking a break right now.
Back to the experience. We started out by sitting on our knees, after we’d been pushed out onto the water. Then we transitioned to standing and started paddling. We’d gotten quite a ways and this lady was about to hit me. I managed to avoid her but started going way too far in the wrong direction. I had difficulty recovering. Somewhere in the midst of that challenge I fell in. I fell in again and again. So I sat on my knees for a while. I’d lost my nerve.
I asked the instructor for advice on how to stand up again. I got up and did okay. I learned that when you feel unsteady, just go to your knees and then get back up. So, no I didn’t fall back in again. I’ll admit that the first part of our trip up the river, we were going against the current, so when we hit rapids, I’d drop to my knees and paddle. I wasn’t alone in this approach. Paddling against those rapids was hard work. It often took minutes to get across one. At one in particular, I felt for certain that I was not going to be able to cross. After a few grunts, and digging in, I made it. As did everyone else.
After hitting my stride, I didn’t think about falling in. I just enjoyed the scenery and the fish. We passed a scenic attraction called the Palisades. Which is also the name of a very popular restaurant that’s nearby.
We didn’t stay together as a group, so it was possible to be on your own and lose yourself in your thoughts.
It was fun, but I’d be lying if I told you that my upper body, and almost every muscle in my thighs didn’t hurt. And my butt too, which I thought was a little odd. My feet also were a little tired in the beginning. All these muscles were helping to stabilize me on the paddleboard. My arms were sore because I was using them to get past those damn rapids.
If you can swim, and you’re a good sport when it comes to trying a new activity, I’d recommend it.