I have a ‘Bucket’ list, a ‘to do’ list of life if you like. I wrote it about 10 years before I received a cancer diagnosis and then totally forgot about it. When I was going through chemo treatment I frantically searched for it…desperate to tick shit off.
Ok, none of us get out of life alive so what I do know is we should be ‘ticking shit off’ all the time. Every day we should be living harder, loving deeper and doing ‘all’ the things we have been putting off.
I had two huge breast reconstruction surgeries last year (2014) and spent almost every day over the summer in the ocean doing my rehab exercise. After being told that simple things like swimming and throwing a ball would be super difficult for me I was determined to get well and get strong. Every day as I swam in the ocean (yes 100 strokes of freestyle and 100 strokes of backstroke) I would watch people glide on the ocean, Stand Up paddle boarding.
The ocean is my happy place, it fills me up and re energises me. Watching the waves and taking in all the changing colours and sounds soothes my soul. I’m fortunate to live nearby a stunning beach and take the opportunity to visit every day, sometimes for a coffee break or a walk, sometimes it’s for a swim…every time is special. Watching those paddle boarders gave me a goal, I wanted to glide across the ocean too.
I knew I had nipple surgery this year (2015), the last of my breast reconstruction surgeries, so I set my goal to try Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) by the end of this year. Here we are on Monday the 28th December getting ready to welcome in the new year and I ticked off the goal, I did SUP.
I bet you’re all wondering how it was? Did I fall in? Was it difficult being a curvy sista? Where’s that super embarrassing photo?
Guys, it was awesome! I was ‘one with the board’ and the water and I ‘actually’ did it!!
Nat from Stand Up a Paddle Board SA was a fab teacher, easy on the eye too! He went through how to hold the paddle, we adjusted the length of our paddles and practiced our stroke. I learned about the importance of a leg rope, where to place my knees and feet on the board, how to get up, turn and loads of other tips. Then it was time to hit the water.
First I had to lift and carry that ‘huge’ board, something that looks hard but was surprisingly easy thanks to a carry handle in the centre of the board. A hot tip when standing on your board, stand with your feet either side of your handle, this will keep you balanced.
We started on our knees which thanks to yoga was easy peasy, then up! I was doing it, I was standing and balancing and…gliding across the water. The water sparkled and glistened and I exhaled…happy! This is me when I first got up, my mate Kerry is still on her knees (she got up beautifully).
My instinct was to straighten my legs, stiff like a soldier but ‘soft knees’ give better balance. Keep your eyes ahead, try not to look down. And why would you want to look down when there’s so much spectacular scenery to look at?
I’m a gripper, my feet took forever to relax as I ‘gripped’ the board which led to cramps in my feet. After a while I tried a different board and like magic the cramps disappeared…yay! Being curvy didn’t matter, it’s all about relaxing your body, technique and just enjoying yourself. You don’t need to be a lithe supermodel beach babe type to SUP, anyone can do it so just…do it ?
I didn’t fall off once, not like the eleventy billion times I fell out of a canoe, nuh uh, I stayed on. Well that’s until I reached shore and went for a not so graceful dismount. Yup, like superman straight off the front of the board and into the water, gave my mates a good belly laugh.
The water was glorious, so I took the opportunity to have a five minute paddle before I was up on the board again. Then it was over, time to pack up, head home to wash the salty water away and rinse out my togs.
Yeah, I wore togs (*find them here) but if you’re not super comfy with that then sports shorts and a rash vest will be fine. Don’t forget sunscreen and a hat. I wore my sunglasses, even though they’re PRADA I wasn’t super concerned if I lost them as I’d already ruined them the day I went canoeing…woops. If your sunglasses are precious to you then don’t wear them as you might lose them.
Will I be heading out to purchase a SUP board? No, not necessary. I loved it and will do it again for sure, but I’m happy to hire a board. Today’s lesson and board hire cost $50 but for just $25 you can hire your gear and be on the water. Easy peasy!
Tick, tick, tickety tick! I’m so pleased to have squeezed that in before the end of the year and ticked it off my list. Is there something you want to tick off a bucket list?
Will you try SUP? If you have any questions just leave them below and I’ll answer.
til next time,
Oh, what’s that? You want to see that super
flattering embarrassing pic of me? It’s a corker!
*item sent to me for my editorial consideration.