Facing Our Fears through Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP)

Photo Credit:  SUP Pups California

Photo Credit: SUP Pups California

Fear can be defined as “A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone”.

We all have fears. Big fears, and little fears. Maybe even silly fears. Fear of heights, fear of spiders, fear of being alone, fear of failure.

This past year, Bluebelle and I took Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) lessons more times then I can count. To say that I was fearful when I first started, was an understatement. In fact, it was expressed in the second sentence I communicated to the instructor. Don’t believe me, here is proof:

“Hi! I would love to get more info about lessons! I should start by saying I've never done this and think I have horrible balance, but am so drawn to the idea of doing it with my dog.”

I was horrified, and actually convinced, that I would fall in the water. Actually, I was convinced I would not even be able to stand.

How many of us, as women, make “excuses” for why we can’t do something?

I am 100% guilty of this, and our SUP lessons are the perfect example- I am overweight; I won’t be able to stand up on a board, in the water, because I have arthritis in both knees and can barely stand up from the floor; how will this board stay afloat holding me, and my dog; I have a fake hip, I can’t do this... and the list goes on and on. (side note- what does half of this REALLY have to do with whether or not I can SUP).

We all have fears. The difference is, do you let it define you, or motivate you. Your fears are the only thing keeping you from success. Kick fear in the booty, and get moving! Find that one thing that will motivate you through your fears, through your excuses, through your hesitations. Your “security blanket”, if you will. For me, it is Bluebelle. I would probably have never signed up for SUP lessons; in fact, the idea would have never crossed my mind, had it not involved her. The SUP lessons were more about Bluebelle, and less about me. And you know what’s great- dogs are resilient! Bluebelle fell off the board on week three, but got right back on during week four, and soaked up the California sun for two hours, like it was her job! (If you are in or near the southern California area, and are interested in SUP lessons, be sure to check out SUP Pups California)

The reality is, when you don't face your fears, you may be missing out on something great. For us, we both fell in love with paddle boarding, so much that this past June, I purchased my own board. Buying that board, though, meant I had to face another fear.... going out without the instructor. I can excitingly share that we no longer rely on our instructor, and have spent our summer out on the water, cruising the bay at our own pace, making memories along the way.

Here is our SUP board purchased from Isle Surf and Sup. They are located in San Diego, but ship anywhere. Their selection is incredible, the boards are beautiful, and the staff went above and beyond to help me, a first time buyer. They even went the extra mile to teach me how to properly strap the board to my roof rack. The boards are great, but the customer service and going the extra mile is what won me over!

I challenge each and every one of you to find that “thing” that will help you through a fear, no matter how big or small. For you, it may not be your pet, but maybe your child, a loved one, competition, a prize. Whatever it is, I promise you, you will be left with a feeling of accomplishment, feeling of self worth, and feeling just a little Badass!