Spent an hour out on the water this morning on my new Starboard Hero Stand-up Paddleboard (SUP). It is how I plan to happily spend my Sundays when weather allows for it – hanging out on the water, watching turtles and whales, and enjoying the sunshine and ocean. I think I’ve found a way to balance doing something I love (being out on the water, sunshine, turtles, and waves) with doing something I am so incredibly bad at and embracing how much I suck at balancing on the SUP.
My nature is klutzy. At my old job, when somebody would trip and fall, they called it “pulling a “Joy”. One doesn’t become nearly 300 pounds without disconnecting from one’s body and I haven’t reconnected with it. Its not uncommon for me to grab walls on the ground to prevent myself from falling. My lack of balance has only magnified since the accident – I don’t intentionally lean/use my good leg – but I do. Its a bad habit that I got into when I didn’t trust Gaby, aka bad leg. I am aware that I do it, but its a hard habit to break.
While on the SUP, balance is even more of a challenge. You have to continuously adjust your body weight from one foot to the other as the waves come in and as you pull yourself forward with the paddle. Coordinated firings of neural pathways to get your muscles to contract at exactly the right amount at the right time with the opposing resisting just the correct amount and it all become muscle and body memory. Well that is going to take a while. I’m pretty sure I didn’t use those neural pathways before the accident and learning to use them now will be a practice of patience and balance. After an hour on the water today, my legs shook from the effort and Gaby ached for a good long while afterwards. Completely a non-impact activity, but hundreds of micro movements to stay up-right and moving. SUP doesn’t allow me to “cheat” and lean on my good leg. I’m thinking that this may be the smartest thing I’ve done since starting Crossfit.