Stand Up Paddleboarding

It has been months since I struggled to put on my own pants, months since I had to have help getting out of bed or months since I hid in the bathroom between customers so that no one would see me cry.  It has been months since the pain was so intense I couldn't see a future without it.  But still, everyday there is a moment in which I move just the wrong way and I can feel the shadow of that pain.  Moments when I realize I just can't do this or that anymore.  Which is why I was so nervous about trying standup paddleboarding for the first time since my injury.

Standup Paddleboarding with Capital SUP

This would be all me.  No instructor standing with me, reminding me to keep my spine in neutral. No one to tell me when to say when.

Before I even made the decision to try it, Christopher Norman, at Capital SUP reminded me that there were no rules, no distance goals, no time goals.

This was a test.

I could decide step by step whether paddleboarding was going to work for me.

The first step was standing up.  Although I had done standup paddleboarding before and had no problem, there is a big difference between now and then.  My core muscles have atrophied from underuse, my stabilizers are nonexistent.  I worried.  Could I do this?

The first moments were iffy.  I wibbled. I wobbled but I didn't fall down.  The first step was a success.

Step By Step

The next steps were as much mental as physical.  Could it hurt my back to bend over and dig in with my paddle? Sure.  But, what would happen if I thought about every single stroke? What would happen if I concentrated on using my legs, my strongest assets, to help with each and every dig?  It meant being mentally engaged throughout but considering the pain that was on the line if I didn't. I knew that I would get it done.

Although I was fully prepared to turn around at any moment, willing to get down on my knees and paddle that way if need be, willing to just give in, I made it. I made it to the end of the creek and back.

And I enjoyed it.  I enjoyed the feel of the water under my feet, the sweat that dribbled down my back, the conversation with the other people in my group.  I enjoy it more than I had the first time, because this time it was about freedom.  The freedom to add one more thing to my workout schedule.  The freedom to do more and get stronger in a different way. The freedom to have one more pain free moment in life.

RunningAnn BrennanComment