Sunday, May 5, 2013

Outside Our Homestead

This weekend has been entirely too much fun. For about three hours I was able to put aside my homesteading duties and go out for some much needed fun and relaxation! It wasn't long or far away, but the time I was able to spend with my husband and the outdoors was more rewarding than anything else I could have dreamt of. This morning...we went paddle boarding!

After much debate, research, thought, and more debating, we finally agreed that purchasing stand-up paddle boards would be a great idea for us. They are versatile (taking them on rivers and lakes, camping or just day-tripping), fairly easy to transport (with the right equipment), light-weight, easy to use, and FUN! We finally committed to investing in these on Friday afternoon and have been chomping at the bit to take them out!

Saturday turned out to be a horrifically windy day! The wind was howling at a constant 23 mph and gusting even harder. Trying to go stand-up paddle boarding would be like trying to control a giant kite on an extremely windy day...not a great idea. We were so disappointed. We had pretty much dedicated this day as our 'excursion' day. We bought invasive species tags, had everything loaded, but the weather just wasn't cooperating. Needless-to-say, it was a bust.

But, after not wanting to let ourselves down and wanting to get out there and try these things out, we got up at 6:30 am this morning and loaded everything up. After a quick breakfast, we headed down to the lake at Pelton Dam. The wind had already begun to blow so we figured we would need to get down there quickly. And we did. At about 7:45 am we were on the water!

Now, this is the very first time I've even been on a paddle board so I was pretty nervous. The water temperature here is still in the 40's, so falling in wasn't really on the list of things I wanted to encounter! In fact, I knew if I were to fall in, I would probably want to just call it quits...I get far too cold, far too easily, and then I'm miserable! But instead of thinking negatively, I was fairly confident (especially since I have some-what good balance from having done yoga) that I - well, we - would catch on quickly with no problems. This was exactly the case!

We unloaded the boards, placed them in the water, life-jacketed up, and climbed on.

I first sat on my knees...that was easy! When I slowly came to a standing position, I could see this was going to take a bit of work to make sure to stay balanced. After a few minutes of playing around, we both had a good feel as of what we could, and what the board could do. So we took off!

We went all around the lake. Against the ever blowing wind and with it; into a beautiful secluded alcove, along the shoreline, to the dam, and back to the marina. We spent 1 1/2 hours on our boards, simply cruising along the water, paddling hard at times and gently at others.

The pure and simple beauty of self and nature is something we often over-look and take for granted. We get so caught up in the day-to-day flow of things that we can forget about the things that make us truly happy and make us feel complete. I'm going to be completely honest here, and say that for far too long, I have lived like this. Pleasing others has always been something I've felt the need to do. I need to do what they want; I need to do what they expect; be this, wear that, shop here, like this, don't like that and don't do that. I'm not searching for sympathy here, nor am I grasping for attention. I am empathetic. So many of us feel this way and I can relate. But finding something that frees you from all of these expectations is completely liberating! And for the first time in a long time, I can say I have found it!

Yes, paddle boarding is a good work out and I guess you could say it is even 'trendy' in a way because so many people have been trying it and getting into it. But for me, it is something entirely different. I feel at peace. I enjoy myself so much that I lose track of time, and obligations, and's wonderful!

So if you are looking for something new to try, or are given an opportunity to try, I would most definitely recommend giving stand up paddle boards (SUP) a go! They are easy to use and a lot of fun...and easy to rent for an hour!


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