I lay down upon the board which sways along with the gentle waters of the harbor. I am grateful to be able to relax on such a beautiful blissful morning. I close my eyes, and am kissed by the sun…as I lay there enjoying the sunshine on my face, the board starts to move side to side just a bit more. Is a boat motoring by? Ugh, I’m starting to feel a little queasy…am I going to get seasick on the paddleboard? I am so lame.
I was excited this morning to try a new adventure for my 50 Weeks to 50 journey. I woke up real early and was on the road to Point Loma for Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga. I regularly attend Yoga classes twice a week, and my kids had tried SUP while on vacation. It looked like fun and I wanted to try it too. I knew OEX had life jackets, so the not knowing how to swim thing didn’t bother me…at first.
Then I get to the water’s edge. Again, what I imagined it to be was not. At this particular location in Point Loma by Shelter Island, they don’t wade out from beachside in shallow water, but rather paddle out dockside amongst the boats. Other locations do start beachside, but the location that Lacy gathered a bunch of friends for this morning excursion does not — Lacy you are going to kill me girlfriend! Well, they reassured me it wasn’t that deep, and that they would all be closeby to save me if I fall into the water. But when I’m still recovering from thoughts of thinking I was going to drown from my Week 17 Jetpack experience, and I can’t see the bottom, I’m a little apprehensive. Why can’t San Diego have clearer waters?
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I don’t know if I can do this. Dana, the instructor from Paddleboard Bliss that operates out of OEX Point Loma, was very patient with me and reminded me that these boards are very steady. Now, didn’t Lacy tell me she falls at least once each time, huh. In my mind, I didn’t want to hold up the group and be a distraction. I was ready to wait for the group back at OEX.
Okay, I can do this. Dana helped me on the board by the dock’s edge. I sat there for a while, holding on to the dock for dear life. Lacy paddled next to me and said she would stay right by my side. Okay, I don’t really think she would let me die. But when you’re scared of drowning and you know everyone else can swim and can save you, and Erik, one of the guys in the group, says he was a lifeguard for five years, even if you know all that — you’re still afraid of drowning.
I stay in a position sitting back on my legs and slowly start paddling off with Lacy close at my side. I don’t dare try to stand up. I am well-balanced, right in the middle of the board, over the designated “keyhole” which acts as your location guide on the board. I am like a mannequin, not moving one bit — well except to paddle. I set a stroking pattern. Three strokes on the right, three strokes on the left, repeat.
The rest of the group (Dana, Jessica, Jacque, Erik and Alisha) is way ahead of Lacy and I. As I slowly paddle along, I get a little more comfortable and start to look around. Being so close to the water’s surface, I realize there are some big boats around me. San Diego loves their boats. And who can afford some of these whoppers!
Slowly I go, little by little…I think I’m getting the hang of it — but I’m still not standing up. For me, it’s just paddleboard, not SUP. Well, I think I’m doing fine, but then Erik paddles back to us and said at this rate by the time we get to the more scenic area out by Shelter Island, we would have to come back. So we decide to paddle into a side alcove amongst the docked boats. I knew I was going to hold up the group.
Once all there, we anchor down. It’s so cute, the little anchor to help us from floating all over the place while doing yoga. As we settle in our spots, Dana starts to lead the yoga instruction, I close my eyes and meditate. I can’t even move if I wanted to — I must have been so tense, I can’t move my legs, they have fallen asleep. Wonderful. Eh, it’s good. I sit there, getting calmer by the minute. Everyone else is standing in Warrior One pose, and I sit. I decide to follow along with any arm movements or upper body twists, while my lower body stays put.
Why are there all these waves splashing about? Whoa, a sea lion decided to visit our group and is probably wondering what the heck are those crazy humans doing now. Can’t they do that on land, why are they on water? Humans are so weird. And for all you humans who do think SUP Yoga is crazy, I will say it’s another challenge for those that do love to practice yoga, because you’re concentrating more on your balance, so as to not fall in the water. If I really could get into this, my core would get a great workout.
Dana starts to lead the group in more poses that are closer to the board, so I am much more comfortable doing those. I can balance on my bottom all day. Hey, at 24-hour fitness, I rock at yoga. Can we put this board on the beach? Actually, Paddleboard Bliss will also offer yoga in a pool, and has regular classes in Carlsbad. I may have to sign up for one of those, I’m fine in a pool.
Soon it’s free time. Erik starts to do a bunch of headstands, and Lacy tries that one where you’re on your elbows. There are a few people watching from the docks, and they seem to be cheering for Erik as he keeps trying to stand on his head for longer periods of time. They each fall, but hey, I can’t do those on land. That’s when I decide to lay back and sunbathe on my board…and when I get queasy. Luckily, I did not get sick. Now that would have been embarrassing.
It was time to paddle back to where we started. Just when I was getting comfortable. Oh well, next time I will stand up. Because I’m not risking it now, especially after I saw Lacy’s face when she fell in the water and said how freezing cold it was. Nope, let me sit here at water’s edge and enjoy the sun.
For me, even though I didn’t do the SU in SUP, I had a great time. I got back on the water, enjoyed the glorious sunshine, made new friends, and eventually relaxed. (I still need to learn how to swim.) This is why we live where we do. Gotta love San Diego.
Afterwards, we walked a short distance over to Mitch’s Seafood for breakfast and mimosas. I should have had some mimosas first, because I was feeling confident now to stand up! Lesson learned – mimosas before SUP.
Thanks to Dana and Shannon at Paddleboard Bliss, and OEX Point Loma for opening early and letting us schedule our group.
Paddleboard Bliss, www.paddleboardbliss.com, has locations in San Diego, Laguna Beach, and Newport Beach. Classes $39 online booking. Paddleboard rentals, and additional yoga classes available.
OEX Point Loma, 5060 N. Harbor Drive, #165, San Diego, www.oexpointloma.com, sales, lessons and rentals available.
Mitch’s Seafood, 1403 Scott St, San Diego, www.mitchsseafood.com, excellent breakfasts and seafood, watch the fishermen come in with their catch.