Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Stand up paddle in Kauai: Part 2

So where was I?  That's right, I was trying to do stand up paddle.

After falling on two numb feet and then having to hoist my body weight up onto the paddle board using nothing but my brute strength, I tried to tell myself the worst was over.  I fell...big deal but more importantly, I did something I never thought I'd do in having to use that strength and I suppose it was good to know that in a pinch, if I had to depend on it, I could.  I was back to knee paddling again.  I tried to keep the weight off of my ankles this time and it took more core balance.  I did well but I was ready to just be up on the damn thing already.  We got to a shallow part and I mean so shallow the board fin could hit if you were in the wrong place.  I felt a little better about trying there but also knew I could do serious damage if I fell wrong.  The instructor directed me out to a place slightly deeper but where I could still touch.  I was getting ready to try and he said "I just saw you tense up!  You're not ready!"  I loosened my shoulders, took some deep breaths and tried to get out of my head.  When he saw I was more relaxed, he told me to do three long, deep strokes on each side and then stand up and if I felt wobbly, go back down to my knees.  I did three strokes and went to the other side and he told me two more on each side and then stand and when I did, the paddle went into the water with the curve side down...completely stopping me dead in the water.  He told me to try it anyway and to look up to get my balance.  I knew the whole "look at the horizon" thing from the Mr's tape but I swear to God no matter how many times I told myself in my head to look up, it would not do it!  It was like I was physically incapable of looking up no matter how much I wanted to.  My knees were so wobbly and shaky I was like a freshly born Bambi trying to stand.  I felt all of that balance board training fly right out the window.  In reality, it didn't help me with that at all.  Maybe muscle wise but yeah, I don't feel like it was nearly close enough to feeling the same that I would recommend it to people as a way to train.  I kept telling myself under my breath, "you can do this, you can do this!"  As I continued to rock with no way to regain my balance or gracefully go back down to my knees, I tanked over the side in a deliberate tuck and roll fall.  (My own creation)

It was much easier to get back on the board and I laid on my stomach for a second as he encouraged me to try again and I told him to hang on for a second.  I told him the Mr fell four times and I wanted to beat him.  He thought that was pretty funny as the Mr asked what we said.  I didn't repeat myself until later.  The instructor said he makes people try twice then he will spot them.  So he paddled over to me and got in a T formation at the top of my board to keep me stable and now I had to paddle us both.

Copyright Success Along the Weigh


Great.  That nagging voice in my head said "you will fall forward, crush him, drown him underwater and they'll have to peel him off the front of you."  I said "I'm going to kill you if I fall forward!"  He assured me I wouldn't fall on him...glad he had confidence, I didn't.   I stood up, slow and shaky and was finally able to get my damn head to look forward.  Score!  My knees were unstable again with the slight bend in them, which I thought you needed for balance.  I could feel myself losing it again.  I heard the Mr say to try to lock my legs because it helped him.  I did and it did stabilize me which was surprising since we both thought you needed your knees kind of soft for control.  But there I was...stand up paddling!

Copyright Success Along the Weigh

My paddling still kind of sucked but I was moving, there was proof and that's about all I cared about at that point!  We all talked and I apologized to both of them for not looking at them because if I did I was going down.

Copyright Success Along the Weigh

I remembered the Mr talking about the horrific arch pain he had when he did his the first time and because I already had foot issues, mine kicked in with record speed.  I kept trying to relax my feet and keep the weight in my heels but that arch pain was not fun.  As we approached our turnaround point, we had about 400 yards to go when the pain shot from my arches up into my shins and toward my knees.  This is what my chiro would call "pain I shouldn't push through."  I let the Mr know I was having a problem with it and let him know it was more than the arch pain he was feeling.  I kept having visions of me having to be towed back by motorboat (they do that) or having to wuss out and paddle on my butt or something.  It wasn't how I wanted to go out but this injury was not happy with me.  That's when I let the instructor know I had a foot injury.  The information didn't seem to compute with him one way or the other.  I suppose in his mind he was saying something along the lines of "you should've told me up front."  This was also when my shoulder blades really started getting to me, not so much from SUP but from the upper body workout I did the day before.  I mentioned that too and I told him about our weight loss.

That seemed to open up a whole other side of him because he told us how he was also a personal chef and how he loves to cook healthy.  We talked about chia seeds, how we each prepare brussels sprouts and all kinds of health related stuff which thankfully seemed to make the ride back much easier to handle.  My feet finally just went numb from the pain so yeah, the dismount was going to be interesting.  As we approached Hanalei Bay and the small sand bar on the side, he told me to just paddle up and "park" it on the beach.  I did and we high fived as the Mr caught up to us.  We posed for a few pics and then he had to be on his way for his next class.  I think I made him late with how slow I was.  Sorry, C!

Copyright Success Along the Weigh
Paddling back toward the beach, see Bali Hai (mountain from South Pacific) in the middle of the pic?

Copyright Success Along the Weigh
I'm parkin' my ride and the Mr is paddling in.

Our boards safe to shore.

I wanted to check it off the list, I did and that's about that.  I would love to say I picked up a new sport that I'm going to love doing but I honestly think it would be quite a few years before my feet would ever allow me the opportunity.  Moreover, I think for me personally I will have to be much thinner to do that again.  It has nothing to do with my abilities because I know I can do it but I just know that with my muscles in my legs possibly being an issue with me for a long time, the less weight I have on them the better.  I'm not trying to dissuade anyone bigger from doing it.  Just go in knowing at first the board moves more and every little motion affects your balance until you're used to it.  I think most companies will rent 12' boards and to people up to 300 lbs.  Oh yeah, request the 12 footer too.  Unlike the Mr on his first time, I didn't get that more stable 12' board, I got the 11' 6" which doesn't sound like much on paper but trust me, it is on water!

The next day, our anniversary, I was basically crippled.  The pain and soreness were in my ankles, of course, but went up my shins into my abs, hips and thighs.  The one place I didn't feel pain?  My arches.  Weirdos.  I cried a lot the next morning, the Mr massaged my legs as best he could, I did my PT stretches and I existed on pain relievers so I could at least walk.  I might've walked like Frankenstein but it was a mode of transportation.  So there you have it.

I felt like I was seriously being tested and it was kind of like the universe laughing in my face like "HA!  You thought you knew exactly what you were getting into...bwaaahahaha!"  I don't like that feeling of not knowing what to expect but I guess I proved my perseverance and that when faced with public humiliation or finding a way to lift myself on a board out of the water, that seemingly impossible task became possible somehow.  I'm not saying I'll never do it again I just know personally, I want to be a lot thinner before I do and I want to give the feet all the time they need to fully heal first.  Don't worry, I found my groove with something else.

Have you been stand up paddling?  Where?  If not, where would you like to?

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35 comments:

  1. I am so glad you did it. Of course I wish you had liked it more but glad you tried it out. You also beat my # of falls and that is awesome! You did great and I am truly proud of you!

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    1. I'm sure I'll do it again someday, I'm just not anxious for that kind of pain again. Getting more weight off will help for sure with my gimpy legs. Thanks for supporting me and filming! :)

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  2. Oh man that does look like fun. Not sure I would have the nerve to try it. But then I said the same thing about water skiing and I love that so......

    Great job!

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    1. I'd say try it on a river or lake. A calm body of water is key for the first time in my opinion. If you love water skiing, this is nothin'! ;)

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  3. NEVER done anything like it. When I was in high school I tried to water ski. That has to be a lot easier than getting up on a paddle board, cause you have the straps you're holding on to, which should help you stand up. Nevertheless, even back then when I wasn't obese, I could NOT stand up. And I never tried that sport again...not that I had a lot of opportunity to do so.

    I can't even imagine how diffficult it must be to stand up on one of those slickery boards that's waving about in the water. But that picture of Bali Hai in the background makes me want to try to anyhow. LOVE the movie South Pacific, fell in love with it as a kid, and when I watch it today, I still love it.

    I hate how we are limited in what we do because of our fear of what other people will think. But it's a fact of life. I'm so happy for you that you overcame your worry over people "watching you," and YOU DID IT!!! YES YOU DID!!!

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    1. The board isn't slippery at all. It has a rubber pad on it that grips the bottom on your aqua shoes if you wear them. Of course seasoned SUP'ers don't but you work up to that if you didn't grow up on the water. When you get to Kauai, do it there. It's the most calm place you can learn, just make it easy and pick a day it's not windy if you have the option. We lucked out that day. No trades but also hot as heck! I didn't have time to worry about people watching me, they had to pay attention to their instructor anyway. Once you're in that situation, it's every man for themselves, I don't care who is watching! LOL

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  4. wooohoooo!!!! Thats crazy awesome!!!! u stuck through it!!Yipee...sorry about the soreness..I can understand..had gone kayaking once..not the merry kind we always do but the crazy upriver one..man I was so sore I had to take a day off from work!!

    take care!!

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    1. Sure did! I was told some people never stand up on it after hours of trying. I think the whole being relaxed thing was key. If you're amped up or nervous, repeat water dunks will be the order of the day. Like I told the Mr, anytime I've ever been sick or hurt on vacation, I always forget about it when I look back so the pain was worth the triumph. :)

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  5. So VERY cool!! You did great. I would love to try that some day... And, by the way, thanks for getting Bali Hai in my head for the rest of the day...I think it's calling me. Have a great day!

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    1. You should try it! It's definitely something the family could all do together. Thankfully I don't remember how Bali Hai goes so I'll let you enjoy that earworm! :)

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  6. I LOVE that you did this! You totally rock!

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  7. Okay, I know this makes me sound like a colossal dork, but when I saw the picture of you standing on that paddle board, my eyes actually misted up just a bit! I am seriously crazy proud of you for doing that!!!! The universe may have laughed, but you stared right back at it and said EFF YOU!!!! Way to go, girl!

    I actually have thought many times that I would like to learn paddle boarding. Living in SoCal, there is not shortage of places to go and do it. That and Kayaking is another I would like to do. Someday...it's not about physical, it's all financial based.

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    1. You're not a dork, just a good friend! :) I thank you for the misting. HA I don't know why but it was just never an option that I wasn't going to stand up on it no matter how many times.

      You guys should rent a few as a family when you can. I think you'd love it and I burned like 1300 calories or something like that when I did it so a good calorie burner too.

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  8. I know you don't need my approval, but I am SO, SO proud of you! You committed to try, you kept at it, and you have plans for the future about it. Maybe do it again, maybe not. But, you know you have done it. And you didn't wimp out. And that is a success in my book! You wouldn't have even been able to back at your starting weight, 2 years ago, etc. You ROCK!!

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    1. Thanks! I knew it was something I always wanted to try, now on to the next things!

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  9. It does look 'fun', but I know I couldn't do it myself. I'm so proud of you for doing it, surviving, getting up and back all on your own! I think it's also important you recognized you could do more than you thought- and if you needed to do that sort of thing you could actually do it. Might choose not to for awhile, but you can. That is empowering.

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    1. I think it's all a matter if it's something you actually want to do over 'can.' (Unless you have an injury or medical reason you couldn't) Like it kind of looks like fun to skydive but doesn't mean I'll ever fling myself out of a plane. ;) It was definitely empowering!

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  10. You did it! That's so great, that you worked and trained so hard and then even faced with the unknown you still did it. WTG!!!!

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    1. Thanks mama! I hope I can do that more and more as I continue to lose weight and gain confidence in myself!

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  11. I love the pictures! I've seen lots of pics of this, and I'd love to do it someday if I ever go to anywhere like that. :) I'm proud of your for doing your very best and not giving up. That is what matters. Think of how you'd feel if after falling in you didn't even try to do it at all. I'm sorry you were in so much pain. I bet once your foot issue is better, you'll have no problems. I know when I am back on my heels for a while they go numb and it sucks! Back when I was about 250 we went roller skating and I fell a lot. I knew when I was 70 pounds heavier I couldn't have done it at all, so just being able to at 250 was awesome. The last time I went, I did awesome since I had more weight off and my balance is much better. I didn't fall once and was going pretty fast. I found myself not as nervous to fall, so I did better. Anyway, I loved reading about your experience and seeing the photos!

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    1. You'd be surprised the places it's popping up. Basically if there's any body of water, you can do it. Try a search in your state even if it's landlocked. Glad you're a skating queen and it got better as you lost more weight and enjoyed the pics! :)

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  12. Yahoo! I'm so happy you tried something you were very nervous about doing. Sorry about the pain, that can be a bit unexpected. You are such an inspiration. I have no desire to do this (just not my thing) but I'd love to try suring or kayaking but am afraid to do it because of my weight. Now I have a goal and a great resource in case I want to try a new adventure. Way to go!

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    1. Thanks! The pain was a downer but I know one day I won't even remember it. Stay tuned because I may just address one of your list items soon! ;)

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  13. WooHoo, ya did it! That's fantastic!

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  14. YAAAY! So proud of you! And I bet the pain was worth it to be able to say that you did it. (Okay, maybe not, but still--you did it!) And unrelated, but your pictures are making me wish I was someplace tropical right now...

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    1. I can say almost 3 weeks out that yes, the pain was worth it but I probably would've had a different answer a week or so ago. HA! You should totally go somewhere tropical right now!

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  15. I am SO proud of you!!!!!!!!!!

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  16. Good for you for doing it and being able to check that off your list. Doesn't matter that it wasn't something you'd love to do again at this point...you did it, you tested your perseverance and can look on this proudly. No one pointed and laughed, you didn't chicken out. You faced your fears and paddled your heart out! I'm so very happy for this experience for you!!!!

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    1. Very true. I know there are many things I will try as I lose weight that I'm curious about but they might not all be winners. If the Mr ever gets a SUP board, I would probably try it about 50 lbs from now. If anyone pointed and laughed I sure as heck didn't hear them because once you're engrossed in a lesson, everything else fades away. Hell, if the instructor didn't talk to the Mr I wouldn't have known he was there! LOL

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  17. I've never tried it, but it looks like fun. Doesn't sound like a lot of fun from your description, but with a little practice and less pain I bet it would be. If I lived near and ocean or a nice warm lake it's something I think I could learn to like. Too bad Colorado is pretty much ocean free and our lakes are not particularly warm.

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    1. The pain is due to my screwed up muscles in my legs. The Mr didn't have pain anything like that so I certainly wouldn't let my experience deter anyone. He's done it 3x (twice on this trip) and loves it. I think it's like anything, some people will love it, others will be on the fence (me) and some will hate it. LOL

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