Sometimes Mondays . . .
Gilligan Goes Fishing

Working on My Balance

For a few years now, I've wanted to try stand-up paddle boarding.  I mean . . . it looks so fun!  Just paddling along, enjoying the lake views.  Y'know?  Kind of like kayaking. . . But not.

I decided that THIS was the year!  (After all, BALANCE is my word for 2017.)  Tom got me a paddle board for my birthday.


Let me tell you, folks.  Stand-up paddle boarding?  Not so easy!  (The whole getting on and getting off part, alone, was nearly enough to do me in. . . )  I have very good balance and core strength from years of practicing yoga and Pilates -- but when I stepped on that board?  

Oh. My. 




(Kind of like being in a canoe for the first time.  Remember that feeling?  Like any movement you make - no matter how slight - is going to upend the whole works?  Yeah.  That feeling.)

My legs were shaking so badly I thought, surely, I'd fall in and have to swim back to shore . . . defeated.  And that's when I started talking to myself.  Out loud.  

You are strong.  

You can do this.  

The worst thing that can happen is you end up in the lake.

I was determined.  I kept at it.  Eventually, I figured things out -- how to turn around, how to control my speed, that I had much better balance when I relaxed.  And, before I knew it, I was Doing It!  And it was FUN.

In the end, I learned some important lessons about BALANCE from my stand-up paddle board; lessons that can be applied to, well . . . the rest of LIFE:

  • Feeling out-of-balance in any new situation is expected, so give yourself some time to adjust to your new reality.  Live with it for a bit; it will become more natural.
  • Yeah, you'll probably feel a bit awkward and embarrassed to be trying a new thing in front of other people.  Oh, well!  You'll get through it.
  • Tensing up is a natural response when we're trying something new.  Try to let go of that tension.  If your legs are shaking . . . take a deep breath and relax.  
  • Remember that it's okay to take things slowly.  Be deliberate in your actions.  Figure out the basic techniques or elements you need to feel in control of your new situation.
  • When your confidence wanes, talk to yourself.  Find some mantras that are meaningful to you and repeat them - frequently and out loud.
  • Practice!  The more you do it, the more natural it feels.
  • And - most of all - smile.  Because it's fun to try new things.  And when we smile, we remind ourselves that life is good and we can Do This Thing.

Before I head home later this afternoon, you know what I'm going to do?  Yeah.  A bit more work on my balance!



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Good for you! My girlfriend loves to paddleboard. My balance pretty much sucks, so I'm not even trying (plus where she goes she has seen SNAKES in the water...I'm not even tempted). I have heard it's a great workout. How cold was the lake water?


I LOVE this! I don't think I've seen a better example of someone really putting their word into such great practice and action! I see paddleboarders all the time at Horsetooth Reservoir and they make it look fun (and easy). You've inspired me to maybe rent/try one and see, keeping your terrific shared lessons in mind. Thanks!


That's really cool! And excellent lessons learned and shared. ;) I saw some paddle-boarders in Madison last weekend.


Excellent lessons on balance in all things! I can't even imagine doing a stand up paddle board, though. I had all I could do to climb into the float I was sitting in on Saturday!


That looks like fun! Thanks for sharing your very wise and practical lessons!


Great tips for paddle-boarding and LIFE!


First, YAY YOU! I'm impressed (and I hope Tom is too!) with how quickly you mastered the new situation and found your balance. and I LOVE the list of life lessons. I don't plan to try paddle-boarding, but I do think I'll be tackling a few new situations in the upcoming months and I'm going to paste these into my journal. Thank you!


I am in awe! And, I am slowly plodding along with The Balanced Life Pilates... (sometimes literally plodding, especially on the balance days) I am super impressed and extremely motivated to keep going!!


Lucky girl! I"d love to have a paddle board.... nothing stopping me of course, cepting it would be a PITA to have to put it on top of my car and drive to water...... Yoga on the SUP's is very popular here in Jersey, although I've tried it... I don't believe falling into the water in warrior is so great. ~grin


And she persisted, anyway! You go Girl! Congrats on your balancing act and thanks for sharing the lessons learned! Great reminders for us all! Enjoy your new practice/skill.


This is the perfect Kym "sport". It's in the water, using everything you learn and do when you work out, and it's all about your word. I am not surprised in the least that you're good at it and that you love it. This is Kym!


Kym - Good for you! And thank you for the "lessons for the rest of life". Your thoughts about feeling out of balance in any new situation were especially helpful and relevant to me right now. Thank you for the reminder.

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