What do you think? If you’re a 32 year-old woman (whose pale legs have clearly never properly seen the light of day) trying standup paddle boarding (SUPing) for the first time with a cute young instructor, is it better to fall into the water or run your 12 foot paddle board straight into a tree? I went with the latter. Not sure it was the best choice, but I did have a small branch “souvenir” remaining on my board when I was done to commemorate the embarrassing experience. Either way, I can’t be down about it because I had a freaking awesome time.
I want to surf. From the moment I saw the freedom and unpredictability of a person, a board, and a wave I craved that that feeling. Society would have me believe people who surf are super tanned, super toned, super cool people in Florida, California and Hawaii. I am none of those things. Each year that passes I become less of those things…unless more freckles = more tan.
I also lack a certain amount of coordination. Namely hand/eye. My cousin, Erin, knowing this, suggested I ease my way into the sport. I took her advice and decided to try out standup paddle boarding.
The good news is that my home state of Michigan has a growing surf culture. We claim ourselves as the 3rd coast and are launching ourselves onto the Great Lakes with gusto. The bad news is that said culture still seems primarily reserved for the super cool and super tanned in our midst, including the staff of the surf shop where I signed up to take my first lesson.
With their help I relearned an important lesson. You can’t judge a book by its cover. In their case, being young, cool, and tan didn’t make them any less kind, helpful, and supportive. In mine, being older, pasty, and clearly a mom doesn’t make me any less adventurous, willing, or fun.
I ran through the zoo yesterday. Careening down wooden walk ways and past bewildered adults. They didn’t make those faces as my kids sped past in a fit of giggles. Why the confused judgy eyes for me?
Luckily they were a blur as I jogged past, my eyes slits from laughing harder than I have in months.
When I finally caught up with my 8 year old he HELD MY HAND and and said, “That’s the first time you’ve run with us through the zoo.”
"I know baby, " I said. "I don’t know why but it won’t be the last."