Maybe it’s the yoga, maybe it’s because I’m getting older, maybe it’s because I have a newfound sense of freedom since I got my bike- but I’ve been up for trying new things.
This was not always so.
I wasn’t a fan of change and in fact- I didn’t like it. Not one bit. Round peg, round hole is how things should fit.
At least that’s the way the Dr. Seuss version of me thought of things.
But I caught up with a friend last Sunday and took a dive into the unknown.
Don’t get too excited. I didn’t climb a mountain.
I went out on a kayak.
Hey- baby steps, people. Baby steps.
We rode our bikes to Hoboken from Jersey City and parked at the Hoboken Cove Boathouse. We signed a sheet of paper and got to kayak for free. Right? Free. No strings. Just free. How did I not know about this? They had free kayaking all summer long? This is what happens when you don’t explore, you miss out on good shit.
So- I hopped in my kayak and had a blast. It’s also quite an arm workout.
And because once I dip my toe, I tend to go whole hog I decided to try a stand-up paddle board.
‘Just keep paddling,’ I was told after a brief lesson.
Off I went.
Look Ma! I’m doing it! Yoga was great prep for this- using the core and feeling the movement of the water to stay steady was a lot less difficult than I thought.
And then, a wave.
Things slow down before the body takes a tumble. I could feel the entire thing. The space-time continuum halted like in an episode of Fringe. I half expected to see bizarro Oneika rise from the water (She better not have a better ass than me, and I do not want her hair longer). But she never showed up and I was snapped my to my merely average ass swaying to and fro on a paddle board.
The wave came and I could feel the balance shift. I didn’t even fight it, because there was nothing to fight. I was going in the water and that was that. I should say that I love the water and love to swim etc..etc… so this wasn’t a huge thing, but it wasn’t exactly warm and I was hoping to keep my clothes dry.
Ah well. In I went. All the way under. Completely soaked. My head popped the surface and I exclaimed, ‘THIS IS AWESOME!’ Maybe I was bizarro Oneika? An interesting twist. I glanced at my butt- still the same. No matter. I felt freaking awesome.
I got on the board and fell off again. And again I giggled. I kept thinking I wish I had known about this during the heat wave because I would have ‘slipped’ over and over.
Eventually I got back in the groove and headed back in. Once back on shore the guy asked if I was okay and I said I was great, it’s about getting back up.
I had to give a mental fistbump to Dandayamana Dhanurasana- aka Standing Bow Pulling Pose in the Bikram series.
The pose is about falling, in the sense that once you fall can you pick yourself back up and try again- without judgement, maybe even with joy.
There’s one last weekend of free kayaking next Saturday. You can bet I’m going to be back on that stand up paddle board.
Fall seven times, stand up eight.
Paddle board yoga. Namaste y’all.