You Should Try This!

You may have seen it around with its increasing popularity, but if you haven’t you need to check out stand up paddle boarding (commonly written as SUP…like ‘sup, how you doin’?).  I started seeing it around last summer, but with limited places to rent a paddle board, and lacking the solid chunk of change required to buy one (you are looking at close to a G and up) I didn’t have the chance to try it.  Until this summer that is.

Many of the places I had seen rent paddle boards were doing so for about $40 for an hour and a half including a short into into paddle boarding.  A bit to rich for my blood.  So when we were at our local metropark earlier this summer (Memorial Day to be exact…a crazy hot day where we waited over a half hour in our car in line just to get in the park!) I saw that they were renting them at one of the beaches…for $10 per hour!  Jackpot!  All summer I’ve been jonesing for a chance to try SUP so when I got a text from my awesome hubby on Friday that said “want to go stand up paddle boarding tomorrow?”  I about jumped up and down with excitement.

So we headed out to the park Saturday afternoon and got our boards for an hour…that was an adventure in itself as the hubby somehow lost twenty buckaroos between the car and the paddle board rental counter.  A twenty dollar deposit is required on each board you rent so it seemed we weren’t getting two boards with me only having my twenty…cash only.  A big, humongous thank you to some friends we just happened to run into while they came up to buy some food at the food counter and loaned us a twenty (such a cool God thing and amazing friends).

SUP is awesome.  If I had crazy disposable income maybe I’d buy one, but I don’t, so I’ll have to settle for my $10/hour rental.  It is a GREAT activity to work on your balance and core strength.  I think it is actually a fantastic cross training exercise for skiers – they can work on upper/lower body separation and balancing in the bumps.  It’s amazing at how well I thought some of those skills translated between the two sports.  If you are afraid that you’ll fall…rest assured that it isn’t too difficult to learn…especially if you have fairly calm waters.  The water was a bit bumpy and rough while we were out, but we did it without much difficulty.  You may fall – I did once as I was shifting my weight to try to balance on one foot, but hey…you’re supposed to be in a bathing suit anyway – they are meant to get wet 🙂  You can always start on your knees if standing up seems intimidating right away.

So what are you waiting for – go rent yourself a paddle board and have some fun!!

If you don’t succeed…tri, tri again.

I can remember my first triathlon experience.  My brother and I decided to complete one together the summer after my senior year of high school (in 2005).  I remember us being pretty stoked for it – but also nervous as all get out for the swim.  I really don’t think we knew what we were doing.  I went to the local YMCA once before the triathlon to practice swimming and quickly discovered that I really didn’t know how to swim…I could doggy paddle and backstroke, but those were the extent of my swimming skills.  I thought “eh, I’ll just wing it.”  Bad decision.  Bad decision to “wing” a half mile swim.  I got out of the water feeling grateful that I avoided drowning.  Looking back I really have no clue how I made it…I truly don’t.  I used my sister’s mountain bike…it was too small for me, but the gears worked which was more than I could say of the bike I owned.  That was pretty horrible.  However, I excelled in the run!  Although last in my age group in both the swim and the bike, I was first in the run…after all, I was going to college on a cross country scholarship.  And so my first triathlon went.  I came out of the water saying “I will never do that again” but when I crossed the finish line, I somehow knew I would.

Fast forward four years to the summer of ’09, the summer after I graduated college.  Somehow I got it in my head that I would like to do another triathlon.  I had somewhat learned how to swim freestyle.  Running injuries forced me to hit the pool and I quickly tired of pool running so I started to try to imitate the swimmers and thus learning how to swim in a way.  I thought I would do significantly better in the swim and the four years since my first triathlon had largely erased the horrors of the first tri swim in my mind.  I was wrong.  I didn’t do much better (okay, I took four minutes off my time, but taking into consideration the fact that most people swim it in half my time wasn’t much consolation) and all the memories came flooding back of feeling like I would never make it out of the water.  I saw life guards in this triathlon handing out noodles to swimmers for support…I was determined that I would NOT be one of those people…I would do it on my own, thank you.  The bike went significantly better, however.  I still had a mountain bike, but it was a nicer one, properly fitted to my height…I think I landed somewhere in the middle for that bike.  It was a fast bike too…flat and fast.  The run went just was well – I passed people and felt good.  If only I didn’t have that swim to mar the memories.  It started pouring as I got out of the water…how appropriate.  The swim became my nemesis.

Two years passed…summer of 2011.  Yesterday morning to be exact.  My third triathlon.  It was kind of on a whim, but somewhat pre-meditated.  I’ve been swimming.  I even learned how to breaststroke a few months ago and a friend had been giving me some pointers and tips.  I had planned on one earlier in the week, but the drive to get there coupled with the entry fee discouraged me so I started looking for another one.  I found one on the same lake that I would be staying on for the weekend as I threw a friend a bachelorette party.  Bingo.  I didn’t have to drive but to the other side of the lake, I still had to pay the entry fee, but the swim was shorter.  Instead of swimming 800 meters I’d only have to swim 500.  Jackpot…that sealed the deal for me.  Sunday morning came and I had surprisingly gotten a decent amount of sleep.  I was nervous as usual, but I knew I had been swimming so the swim would go much better than my previous two.  The horn sounded and I was off in the water.  The first 200 meters…not so bad and then it hit.  I couldn’t see the bottom like I could in the pool, the shifting water threw me off and I was tired from keeping my head out to see where I was going.  I felt like it was the longest swim in the world.  The last half of the swim I fell off my intended pace like you would not believe.  It wasn’t fun.  I hated it, why did I sign up for it….I was on my back again because to put my face in the water would mean I couldn’t see anything.  I didn’t understand how I could swim so horribly when clearly I am a better swimmer than I was for the first two.  I finally made it out of the water and onto my bike.  No problem…except my bike is in desperate need of a tune up and my hardest gears were grinding and causing some problems.  It probably slowed me down a bit.  And the bike ride…that hill in the last two or three miles…it was big.  I had bike it before, oddly enough, with a friend the summer before so I knew it was coming.  It gave me confidence that I needed to power up it a bit better than some fared.  I even felt great on the run…aside from desperately having to go to the bathroom!  Haha!  I finished and the girls from the party cheered me on.

That swim…my nemesis.  I finished the tri thinking that maybe I should give it up.  I would never conquer the swim and I should just quit with the triathlons and stick to road races and duathlons.  I can’t swim well…I can’t afford a tri or road bike, it just isn’t my cup of  tea…but then I look at the results.  Second in my age group with that kind of swim time?  Granted most triathletesare over the age of 30 and so my competition isn’t as stiff…but it is still competition.  I think about how challenging it is mentally and physically…what 5k or even 10k would give me that kind of mental and physical challenge?  The simple fact is…they can’t.  So I’ll tri again…and I’ll keep tri-ing…until someday I conquer my nemesis.

Oh it feels good to be done! Anchor Bay Triathlon '09

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Un poco sobre mi vida las ultimas semanas!  This is just a little bit of what I’ve been up to the past few weeks 🙂  Not including the fact that I was able to go HOME this weekend…first time since the beginning of August!  I was so excited!  It was definitely nice to be home!

In other news…I’m done with cross country for the season.  I’m on downtime…recovery.  Next week I might be swimming…not pool running…swimming.  I don’t have to do anything, but I hate sitting around, sitting still…so since I don’t have to worry about getting in a workout…I am going to teach myself to swim!  haha…sure I can stay above water and move forward, but I am going to learn how to actually swim…and get that whole breathing thing down!  That should be interesting!

Do you know that thirst that cannot be quenched?  The one that no matter how much water you drink, gatorade you slug down, kool-aid you mix up…it seems that you will never satisty your thirst?  There must be something more that can satisfy your parched tongue.  Its this insatiable thirst that I have right now for more of God.  No matter how much I seek Him, no matter how much I thirst after Him it seems I can’t get enough of Him.  There is something more, something out of my reach and I want it.  At the same time I know its me…I am the only one standing in my way of getting it…of getting so much of Him that it overflows everywhere.  I am the one who doesn’t seek after Him enough…offering hollow excuses as to why I wasn’t faithful in waking up to bask in His love and His words in the morning…letting the busyness of all that is around me crowd out His voice, losing it amid all the distractions…letting the weight of the world weigh me down when His strong arms are waiting for me to drop all the weight into them.  It is only myself, and myself  only that gets in the way of more of Him.  He is waiting there patiently for me.  I claim to want more of Him, to want a fresh dousing of His spirit and His power, but I just stand by as if He will just come near to me…but He says draw near to me and I will draw near to you…I need to run after Him…I want more…but I am not willing to sacrifice the mundane daily activities that aren’t necessary in order to acercarme a Dios…to draw close to God.  Forgive me Father for my complacency and my lack of action.  I must press on…with His help I will press on, because I want more.  I am not satisfied…thankful for what He has given me, what I have, what I have experienced, but not content…I want more.