Paddle On

I was in San Diego for a wedding this past weekend. We went kayaking on Saturday morning and my daughter decided to rent a stand up paddle board instead.

In a way, it looked very simple. At least as I watched her, relaxed and confident.  In a way, it looked difficult and like I could potentially spend a lot of time falling in the water. I almost played it safe. But under the guise of living fully, I decided to give it a go.

I started out on my knees to get a feel for the board and my balance. We were in the bay so not a lot of waves or turbulence though, intermittently,  there were boats going by to chop up the water.

Knee paddle boarding, check. I wibbled and wobbled my way to a standing position. Tense, I once again,  allowed myself to get a feel for the board and paddled my way around tentatively. Ok, not so hard after all. I felt my balance and gradually, I relaxed and even began to enjoy it.

There is a knack to getting the board  to go in the direction you desire. I was slowly catching on.  Since there is only one paddle, you need to transfer the paddle from hand to hand depending on which way you want the board to go.

Seems like turning around would mean just paddling like crazy on one side. After doing that for a few minutes and making no progress, I finally figured out I needed to rotate the paddle and turn myself by going backwards. Huh. Simple. Once I had the aha moment.

So because I knew how to get where I wanted to go, ha ha, I paddled over to the kayaks- my husband, daughter and son in law and glided into my husband’s kayak- or did he glide into me? At any rate, it was apparently time for me to drink in the bay- literally and I fell off the board. Surprise. But not really.

Stunned, I climbed back on. Backwards. Righted myself. Got back up. Wobbly. Let myself wobble and before I knew it I was paddling for shore.  I was steady and confident. My daughter wanted the board back.

Paddling for shore was an interesting experience. CCC- Constant course corrections. Thinking I should be moving faster than I was. Realizing I needed to stop paddling for awhile and allow myself to drift. Drift? What if I get way off course? In the bay? Well, I guess I can start paddling again with renewed energy and clarity as to how to go in the direction I want to be going.

And what’s the hurry? Nobody was waving at me to speed it up.. just looking in my direction and probably chuckling to themselves at how adorable I looked on the board. Since I could make it up any way I choose, that’s my story.

I got there when I got there. And next time I have an opportunity, I will definitely be stand up paddle boarding again.

And my point is….

Looking back on my paddle board adventure, I see the adventure of life.

Choice… playing it safe vs living fully

Trying new things

Baby steps

Allowing myself to look and be and feel awkward


Aha moments

Feeling uncertain and even a little scared

Experiencing the worst case scenario

Picking myself back up



CCC… Constant Course Corrections

Slowing down

Allowing myself to drift for awhile

And being ok with it

Recognizing that I’m making up my story

And making it up in a way that serves me

Paddling on… until I get where I want to go

Just in time for the next adventure

gayle nobel