|My Coolibar outfit is designed to keep me from getting
more skin cancer. There were Amish women on the beach with
less clothing on than me!
I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. Psalm 101:3 (ESV)
Youngest son and his wife, M., are here on vacation. These are the same two who went on vacation with us two years ago when we went rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, zip lining and jumped off a rock into a waterfall. They are not the kind to sit around and watch television on their vacation. I was able to take a few days off to spend with them and today, we went paddle boarding with Sarasota Paddleboarding Company. I have always wanted to try it and so did they so it seemed like a good time. Although, I was convinced, I would not be able to do it. Our instructor, Bob, was great. He was very encouraging and clear on what steps we need to do to be successful. When I expressed concern that I would not be able to do it, he said, “It’s all in your mind.” That was a big help to me to keep from thinking negatively and before I knew it, I was up and paddling! We paddled half the length of Lido Key all the way down to the point and back. While I paddled, I thought of the four Fs of paddle boarding which can also go for life in general. Here they are:
Focused: The most important thing that Bob told us to do was when we were ready to stand up to keep our eyes up and focused on the horizon. Not to look down or around or at the water, but up and straight ahead. He said that your body follows your eyes and if you are facing up and forward, you don’t wobble so much. I found that to be very true. The only times I fell were when I was posing for pictures or worrying about what was around me. If I kept my gaze forward and towards the direction we were headed, it felt comfortable and I did pretty well!
Flexible: Bob told us to keep our knees flexible in order to ride the waves. He said not to bend at the waist, but to keep our upper body straight. By cushioning our ride with our legs and knees, we could stay upright even when the wind and waves wanted to push us around.
Fearless: Bob’s advice that my fear was all in my mind really resonated with me. How many times have I missed the chance to do something new or fun because I was afraid to try? Once I set aside my fear and stood up, I found out paddle boarding is a lot easier than it looks!
Firm: You do have to get your feet set in one place and not move them around. When I tried to move my feet to adjust my stance, I fell every time. Getting your feet set before standing is very important. Not changing your position helps you keep your balance.
Focused, flexible, fearless and firm. Four important rules to maneuver a paddleboard successfully and they help get through life as well!