Saturday, September 3, 2011

First 1.5 Hours on a Stand Up Paddleboard

My obliques will be crying uncle tomorrow, but before I lose the capacity to do whatever it is that oblique muscles do, a few thoughts on my first time out on a stand up paddleboard.

It was rad.

When my friend Ben asked whether I wanted to get out on SUP this weekend, my inside voice thought that Ben had turned into an late 90s wannabe rapper. Then, when I realized what SUP stood for, I told him I was game as long as we weren't on a waterbody where I might wind up with a third arm if I fell in (aka, the Potomac in Georgetown).

On tap this weekend for my Army 10-Miler training was a short run and cross training to cap off a step-back week that left a lot of quality to be desired. No need to relive that. I did the run this morning, and by 9:30 am, Ben and I were waiting for the surf shop to open so we could pick up our boards. 

At least it doesn't look as ridiculous as the boards did on a Golf.
We got some beta from the guys at the surf shop, did our own exploration, picked up a parking permit for the landing where we wanted to put in....and then fueled ourselves for the paddle.

Way too excited to be at an open-air bar for lunch.
About all we had decided was to paddle in protected water, off Maryland's Eastern Shore. We drove down a road that abutted the Wye River, looked for public access to the water, and came upon a landing road (preceded by a country store operated by a not particularly nice proprietor). Bingo. We put in. I wobbled in a table top position.  This was the extent of my yoga practice on the board. After a few tentative strokes in a kneeling position, I popped onto my feet. Well, "pop" is too active a word. It was more of a gradual metamorphosis from a crouch to not as much of a crouch. The judges on So You Think You Can Dance would have been super impressed with my interpretive dance with a prop. 

I can't wait to see how my obliques feel tomorrow.
Once on my feet, we paddled for an hour into a headwind. Holy resistance training! Thanks to the headwind, I was pretty sure at times that my paddling was futile. It's a good thing that several motor boats puttered and not so puttered at us to provide the illusion that I was moving forward. And, I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that we turned around at the Aspen Wye River Conference Center dock. Nerdy factoid: the 1998 Mideast Peace talks were here.

The best part about starting out into a headwind, obviously, is the return, which took half an hour. I even caught a few waves on the way back, and we came in to the landing as the local fishermen and crabbers brought in the day's catch.

Now about those obliques...