Friday May 30
Once we’d made it through the weekend of the big Roberts Creek Arts Festival, we were ready for a rest. Luckily, May 19th was Armed Forces Day
We celebrate it annually…and this year, the whole country joined us (i thank you)
Then on Wednesday (May 21), while we were having our morning smoothie and preparing to go to wrap central, Wendle got a text from Laurie…you remember Laurie…from Pedals and Paddles (October 29, October 30, January 10 & January 11 Posts)
Well, I’ll let Wendle tell you the rest of the story…although I’ll probably have to add the odd note or two (there’s a surprise)
Wednesday, May 21 12:03 pm
Bling bling…I have a text… It’s from my friend, Laurie Reid… Laurie owns Pedals and Paddles (think kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, Zodiac rides, guided tours)
LAURIE: ‘Paddle board yoga at 1:30… Can you make it?’
WENDY: ‘Hell yes!’
Well, that’s not exactly my reply but that’s what I screamed in my mind!
So, I feed the kids…I mean Steve…get ready and we’re off
Moose is going to drop me off at Pedals and Paddles in Tuwanek and then go to the gym in Gibsons. Laurie is going to take me home when we’re done. Sweet!
We arrive at 1:35p and Laurie comes over to greet us. We meet Klause & Margaret who are from Alberta and are here on vacation. Klause is going to kayak and take photos while Margaret and I do paddle board Yoga with Phaedra, who is a yoga instructor and paddle boarder extraordinaire
Laurie holds out 2 wet suit options for me to wear and I tuck into the little office to try one on. Before I start to remove my clothing, I wonder… remove underwear? remove bra? Who knows. I’ve never been in a wet suit before. I consult Laurie. She says she leaves both on. This makes me feel more comfortable…I slip on the wet suit…hmmm, this zipper sure comes up high on the neck. The rest of it fits okay. I guess I’ll just have to leave the neck open a bit. I pack up my clothes, throw my borrowed sunglasses around my neck (compliments of Laurie) and off I go
I come strolling over to Laurie and she has this big grin on her face as she says “You’ve got it on backwards! The zipper goes at the back”. Hahahahaha…of course I do!
Wow, turned the correct way, this thing feels much better. I’m feel’n like a surfer girl…Oh Yeah. The Beach Boys are my inner soundtrack
Laurie carries my paddle board down the stairs to the beach. I’m not sure if she’s wanting to help me move things along or is worried that my little pick arms won’t hold out. Whatever her motive, I’m grateful.
Phaedra gives us a few basic instructions on the beach; how to hold the paddle, how to have a balanced stance, the paddling motion…you know the basics
(Margaret, Phaedra, Wendy)
We put our life vests on and we’re off on our boards. Klause is kayaking nearby and taking pictures (note: which we will add to the post when we receive them). Within minutes I’m feeling freer than I’ve ever felt. No phone for one thing. No sides of the boat for another. Just me, the board and the water. Wow
We start out with Phaedra showing us how to stand up and paddle
When the waves start to kick up a little she reminds us that we are not out here to be heroes. I heed her words and opt for a kneeling paddle position
We paddle out to a little island and find a place where the water is calm. Then we tie our paddle to the board…so we won’t loose it…and take off our life jackets so we can maneuver better. I set out to drop my anchor, crawling on all fours…and on my belly…to the front of the board to do so. Anchor’s away!
Let the Yoga begin
We start out by sitting and breathing
“Usually in Yoga” says Paedra “we focus inward. However seeing as we are in this majestic place, let’s focus on opening up to the nature around us.”
“Wow!” I said that, out loud, to myself a lot over the next 40 minutes…at least I think that’s how long it was, my sense of time seemed to have disappeared
Next up…let’s stand
‘Okay. Lets do this!’ Up we get. Hmmm I feel much more stable than I thought I would. We achieve Mountain Pose and Paedra points out that we’re doing mountain pose, on the water, surrounded by mountains, “It doesn’t get any better than this”, she says. Frig… you’re not kidding. This is an experience of a lifetime. We continue onto many poses and I’m pretty sure I actually squealed at the view from Downward Dog
Going into some Sun Salutations and I’m lying face down on the board/yoga mat with my head to the side… merely inches from the water…’so this is what a seal sees.’ So still. So peaceful
There were white jelly fish everywhere and I’m told they’re the non stinging kind, and starfish too. Eagles flying overhead. Fresh sea air filling my lungs. I used to wonder what the attraction was to stand up paddle boards (SUP’s for those in the know). ‘Why not kayak or canoe?’ Now I get it! If you ever have the opportunity…regardless of your physical abilities…get your butt onto a paddle board. Even if you just sit on it and paddle. Seriously
During a couple of the poses Margaret falls gracefully into the water. She easily gets back on her board and is triumphant. I’m pondering whether I should take the plunge myself. Seeking to feel as liberated and refreshed as she seems to. I quickly recall how I abhor being cold and decide ‘I’m good thanks’. I think I’ll focus on my balance this time. Maybe in the summer when it’s warmer.
Last up. Savasana. For those unfamiliar with Yoga, that’s corpse pose
Hmmm. There are jellyfish down there and all sorts of creatures. ‘Wendy Nadine Wright’, I say to myself, ‘You are not wasting this opportunity. Feet in. Hands in.’
I’m so grateful to myself. Perfectly cool water. I close my eyes at first…like in regular Yoga. I become one with my board and the movement of the water. All of a sudden, my eyes shoot open in realization of what a view I have! Mountains and sky…Expansive!
Phaedra gently rouses us and we chant one Ohm to close our Yoga, and set off for shore
My confidence in my balance has increased tenfold since our paddle out. I decide to stand up for the ride back. Whoa…this isn’t hard at all. This is spectacular!
Margaret and I enjoy each others conversation for the second half of the trip back. She decides to stand up too. It starts to rain and we not only ‘don’t mind’…we embrace it
We’re about two thirds the way back when we see a seal (with a very large head) about 30 to 40 meters away…again I hear myself squeal aloud with delight. We are in total awe
I don’t want it to end. I WILL be back
I am so grateful to Laurie for the opportunity and to Phaedra for the most incredible experience
Check out the Pedals and Paddles website (there are even links to our blog)…then you can book your own session. They can accommodate up to 6 people at once…or as few as one. If you’re out this way, get your friends together or just go paddle on your own!
Phaedra was generous, gentle and at the same time she pushed us to expand beyond our perceived limitations. Here’s a link to her bio: Phaedra-Lynn Hicks
That’s it for today sportsfans. Have an amazing weekend wherever you are
Moose and Wendle
Someone should tell these kids that we thought the same thing