Starting this blog has led to a lot of fun surprises. Not only have I stuck with exercising by not sticking to anything and tried things I would normally never expose myself to like hot yoga and pole dancing, I made a new pal in the process.
It all started like this: after my last kickboxing class, I word vomited. I can’t help it. I’m an excited and talkative individual during my inactive state, so the addition of endorphins just makes me a sombrero short or Speedy Gonzales. Thankfully, a fellow kickboxer overheard and we got to talking about how she’s into stand up paddling–or, “SUP,” as the kids like to call it. Before I knew it, we had plans for her to show me how.
It only dawned on me the next day, post-endorphin-high, that other than SUP reminding me of the old Budweiser “wasssuuuup” commercial, I actually had no idea what exactly one did to SUP. Do you wear a bathing suit? A wet suit? WAIT. How much are you actually IN the water? After consulting my new friend, Debora, and my old friend, Google, I arrived at Willamette Park in shorts and a t-shirt ready for my first SUP.
Even though I’m a confident swimmer (thank you childhood swim team), I was nervous about trying SUP because the board happens to be huge. After plopping mine into the water and Debora coaching me on how to get from the dock to my board without falling, I realized that SUP boards are just big boned and misunderstood. Their beastliness helps with balance and after an hour or so, I was pretty proud that I could paddle while standing and smiling like this:
While I’ve never surfed, I have kayaked before, so I feel like I have some authority to say that SUP feels like kayaking and surfing made a baby. Unlike its cowabunga father, SUP on the Willamette is super relaxing. The river is beautiful and quiet except for the wildlife that live there. While we paddled, little baby ducks swam by and even tried to jump on Debora’s board to catch a ride because they were lazy baby ducks. Just kidding. They were just moochers.
I was shocked that my arms were sore the next day because SUP doesn’t feel like a workout. It’s just a fun way to cross a river. The best part is that the Willamette River is free to go on as long as you bring your own equipment. Although, I’d strongly recommend befriending someone who happens to be an expert SUP-er before going out there on your own–that, or rent a board and take a lesson from Gorge Performance or Portland Kayak. It’s worth it.