Friday, July 25, 2014

Paddleboarding: A Great Sport of Strength & Concentration

I have found a new pursuit that I keep loving more and more every day.


I love it. Love it! It is such a great mix of strength, concentration, and summer enjoyment that it begs for constant practice. Couple that with a great dose of fun and the incredible surrounding geography of the Northwest and you're left with an incomparable experience. 

I've only picked up the sport recently while training for the triathlon which took place a couple of weeks ago and about which I will write soon. The very next day I picked up the board, headed to the ocean, fell a few times as I got the hang of the board and the act of balancing on it, and after practicing daily, I'm now fully enjoying what this phenomenal activity has to offer: a great workout, an amazing opportunity to take in the beautiful surroundings, and a fun time getting to know and relating with the people who share a love of the sport.

Having loved the ocean since practically early childhood, taking to this new activity was natural. There's something so soothing and inspiring about the ocean. It's the kind of place in which strength and a fast pace are equally appreciated as quietude and slowness. It's the kind of space that's always oozed familiarity for me. Hence, I always feel in my element when in it regardless of whether I'm in Europe or North America.

My favorite bit about paddle boarding was falling off the board. I was not surprised to be told that this was the least likeable side effect of the sport for most. But the way I saw it, falling off the board was just an added opportunity to keep swimming especially when far from the shore. Or as my Dad said, "well, it's the innate optimist in you that chooses to see things differently." I thought that was a sweet thing to say but also, at the core, true and perhaps not entirely biased. Isn't everything about perspective and attitude after all? And everything looks, feels, and appears better and more enjoyable when seen positively. But I digress. It must be the all the endorphins from daily exercising.

What I'm finding out from paddle boarding is that I can save on time and introduce a higher level of efficiency to my workouts.

I'm of the school of thought that looks at efficiency as part of fun. So, I have to take it into account when it comes to working out as well.

While a few weeks ago while heavily getting ready for the triathlon I'd lift weights, run daily between 5k-10k, and bike three times a day between 10k-20k, plus go to yoga 5 times a week, now a simple two hour practice on the board seems to provide a holistic workout while saving me some major time.

And since I've already conditioned myself to measure everything hourly, this works out just perfectly.

If you have not tried paddleboarding,  do give it a chance. My friends and family hear about it ad nauseam but I do think it's the kind of experience that will add much to your summer experience, your overall health, and it will give you a chance to bond further with your loved ones as you enjoy getting to know new people.

Plus, what I'm finding out is that with the right gear, you can practice this sport come rain or sunshine. And I especially liked paddling in the rain this week.

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