“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t—you’re right.” – Henry Ford
After 2 lessons of stand up paddling (SUP) in swimming pool, I begin to look a little more pro-like in calm water. Less than 12 hours later, I attempted first open-water this morning. It was my maiden sea-sport venture. I never done one on my own in open-water. For 1 hour 30 minutes, SGD30 each person, my husband went through 5 lessons with my son. In my opinion, it’s worth every single cent. IN FORMA provided SUP board, paddle, life-vests and individual attention to learners. I went to East Coast every Saturday, looking after their belongings, taking photo of them.
Hardi, my coach from INFORMA asked me to try last Saturday. I declined. Today, he asked me again. I was unprepared. This time, I said yes & changed into my swim suit.
I shimmied onto the board and knelt as best I could. Wrangling my paddle, I attempted to stand. My legs wobbled. I haven’t gone through the third lesson at swimming pool which is supposedly on waves and I couldn’t believe myself I got the guts to do it at sea. Really hard-core stuff. The board rocked beneath me. Within seconds I flopped into the water.
Not nervous. Not scary. Doing in sea is more fun than swimming pool because sea is big & won’t bump into others. It’s difficult to stand and balance with the waves. The leash tied round my ankle attach to the board makes me feel safe. I drank a few gulps of salty sea water.
I did a few yoga poses on the board because my knees are tired from kneeling. Being out in the sea has a therapeutic effect, similar to the experience of mountain trekking for hours without talking. I was engaged with nature, the calmness in the sea & being alone, just me & the sea.
You don’t have to be an excellent swimmer to do SUP although ability to swim is an added advantage. For safety, I wear a life-vest. Water-confidence, fearless, feel relax are probably what beginner should equip with.
Through my experience, I guess few parents allow their children to do the sport. I’m an exceptional parent. I let my son, Clement do it. After 5 lessons in swimming pool, he becomes a pro & won a bronze medal in a race, junior category. Clement is certainly proud of his ability to do what other people can’t. That gives him a lot of confidence. He said he’s looking forward to stand up paddling every day. Really? Why does he like SUP so much? His enthusiasm in this sports was contagious that his parents are beginning to learn.
Active SG school holiday programme, got Clement started. Through this event, I knew people like Aza, Rehan, Hardi. I never expected how it changes my family and I never know one thing leads to another. I picked up a new skill, had my resolution list checked. Yay!
Though my first stand up paddle experience was far less glamorous, I am beginning to like the challenge, adventurous nature of it.