Lara Croft. Black Widow. Selene from Underworld. I love these women! I absolutely love movies with strong, powerful female characters. I think it's amazing when they fight, jump, kick, and take no prisoners on their way to victory.
How tough am I?
But when it comes to my own life… I'm kind of a wimp.
I would rather walk half a mile out of my way to find an easy path than to half to navigate down a two foot rocky hill. I am petrified of falling. I bruise if a feather hits my leg.
It's embarrassing how lame I am!
But all that has changed this past week…
Last week I learned to stand up paddleboard! I'm officially a surfer girl! I can hear the Beach Boys singing about me now… ;)
My past failure
Now I've attempted surfing just one other time before... kitesurfing in San Diego, and it was a total disaster. The one time I tried to get on the board, I totally wiped out. I gulped and inhaled the bay, my body ached from smacking into the water, and I felt stupid. I barely kept the tears from spilling out of my eyes.
And I gave up.
I decided that was enough, and we got on the jet ski and rode back to shore.
Brave enough to try again
Fast forward 5 years later, and here we are in Kona, Hawaii, finally trying out our Global Resorts Network membership that Joshua bought 5 years ago, and I reserved us stand up paddleboarding lessons for Joshua's birthday!
Our instructor, Mike, was really friendly and calm, and he spent a few minutes in the sand explaining the mechanics of paddle boarding to us, and then we headed out into the water.
We walked the board to the water's edge, knelt on it, and immediately followed Mike out through the channel into open ocean, with four foot swells.
I was a little slow in my paddling at first, and hesitant to try popping up onto my feet, but I was determined that I was going to do it, even if it was at my own pace.
I watched Joshua nail it the first time, of course! He's super coordinated and picks up athletic skills really easily.
It took me two tries of popping up, wobbling and shaking like crazy, and then falling back on to the board…
And then on my third time standing up…
I got it!!
I stood up straight, handled the swells in my hips, and paddled perfectly.
I felt so proud of myself!
I rewarded myself with a relaxing session of floating on the board after that… sitting on the board, alone out on the water, looking at the shoreline, is an incredible, beautiful experience...
And then I made myself get up again.
I could have been satisfied with knowing that I'd done it once, but I made up my mind that this was something I was going to accomplish fully. This is a skill that I'm going to acquire, not just a box that I'm going to check off for completing.
My next run of standing up was even better. I paddled out to and around a buoy, and then we made our way back through the channel and into the bay to end the lesson.
When we got to land, my legs were shaking and my heart was still pumping, and it was exhilarating!
Once you've got it, keep practicing until you master it
Much to the surprise of our trainer, we rented the boards for the rest of the day so that we could keep practicing and mastering our paddle board abilities. They told us that most people just take the lesson and never rent the board for any longer, which is weird to them. We weren't willing to let it rest with just the lesson though!
We both went back in the water, multiple times, getting more and more comfortable and confident with our skills. And even though I enjoy sitting or kneeling and paddling, I kept forcing myself to jump to my feet so that I could really learn the skill. Each time it's a little push outside my comfort zone, but I always feel so proud of myself when I'm standing up on that board, clasping the paddle, and cutting through the water.
This is my adventure!
I finally feel like I have an exciting skill! And a woman at the board shop said that it's awesome that we learned how to do it in the ocean of Hawaii, because most people only learn how to do it on flat water, like at a lake. So I actually do have some skills!
I still have to work on my martial arts abilities before I can be like my favorite movie characters (and that day is coming… Joshua and I agreed after seeing Fast and the Furious 6 that we are going to learn MMA together!), but I am so stoked that I have finally done something adventurous. I have redeemed myself from that miserable kitesurfing debacle!
What's your adventure going to be?
And this is what is so exciting about travel. It opens up new worlds of culture, experiences, adventures, and opportunities for you. You can see beautiful new landscapes, climb mountains, snorkel among tropical fish, learn to cook in Tuscany, or speak a new language with new friends.
So what gets you excited? What is your next adventure going to be? Be sure to tell me in the comments!
One more quick thing
P.S. We got our hotel room in Kona (1 bedroom with a kitchen, washer and dryer, living room, 2 bathrooms, and a patio) for $499 for the week. Click here to learn more about the awesome vacation community that allowed us to do that!