Posts Tagged ‘fail’

reverb13-blog-button Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.  December is the perfect time to reflect on 2013 and start to create intentions for 2014.

Day 11: Fail
What just didn’t work out this year?  Is that okay with you?  Or are you going to try, try again?

The first thing that comes to mind when I read this prompt is my experience trying SUP.  I originally wrote this on September 27, 2013…

bilbl_superToday’s edition in Adventures in Fitness is just that – the story of a crazy adventure I had while attempting some water fun.

Over the summer I bought an Amazon Local deal for stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). Several of my friends on FB had posted pictures of themselves giving SUP a go at Lake Tahoe and various other locations around CA. I’m always up for a new fitness adventure, especially when it involves water sports. So, I purchased the $15 deal.

Ani and I arrived at HMB Kayak, and I was surprised to see that it was basically a tent on the beach. (I’d expected more of a proper storefront, I guess). We decided to forgo true wetsuits (there was no way I was going to try to squeeze into one of those) in favor of our dri-wik yoga pants and wetsuit jackets. One of the employees gave us a very brief (and I mean very brief) basic intro on how to paddle, and we were on our way.

How many of you are thinking that I should’ve chosen a tamer waterway for my first SUP experience, rather than Half Moon Bay, open ocean, on a windy day? Oh, and it was also high tide. Yeah, hindsight.

I started out on my knees, keeping balance pretty well. A few moments later, Ani had dropped into the water, and was having some difficulty getting back up onto the board. So much so that she needed the employees to come out and help her. All the while, I was still floating along, balancing on my knees. I was having a good time, amazed at my balance. I’d been out there for about 15 minutes. So when I was feeling super confident, I decided it was time to try to stand up.

Not a good move. I fell off right off the paddle board. After failing to pull myself out of the water and back onto the board, the way the guy had told me, I decided it was time to make my way back to shore and switch to kayaking. As I mentioned, wind was really strong, and it was high tide, so I’d gotten pretty far out in the 15 minutes I’d been floating on my knees. To get back to shore, I had to swim for 20 minutes, against the current, lugging the paddle board behind me (attached to my ankle). That same employee came out to check on me, and I assured him I was a strong swimmer, and didn’t need any help. Which was true – I swam back to shore without too much trouble, but I have to admit, I was very tired by the time I’d hit land.

So, I decided to try kayaking. Again, after very minimal instruction, I was out and trying to get myself into the boat, balance, and get out on the water. I fell out of the kayak a bunch of times close to the shore, but finally righted myself and found my groove.

I kayaked for about 25 minutes, and was really enjoying myself. I got pretty far out, was enjoying the sunshine, the ocean, the boats, the harbor, the sea lions. Feeling so proud of myself and lucky at the life that let me enjoy an afternoon of fun at the ocean on a Friday afternoon. Just as I was finding my zen… the kayak flipped over!

The current was so strong, and I was so exhausted from falling all the other times, as well as the huge swim, and I couldn’t even turn the boat right side up, let alone entertain the thought of pulling myself back into it. I had the oar in one hand, and was trying to keep a hold of the kayak with the other, while staying afloat. (I did have a lifevest on, thank goodness).

At this point, I knew I was too far out to get myself back to the shore. I wasn’t pancking, but I was a bit worried about how cold the water was, how close the sea lions were, and how far I was from where the employees of HMB Kayak could see me. Then the current started to really pick up, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get back.

Just then, some women who were walking along the pier saw me, started yelling, and tried to get help for me. I told them I was fine, and that there was no emergency, but they said to hang on and that help would be there soon. I was feeling utterly embarrassed that I had to be saved, but I realized that it was true, I needed some help.

Luckily for me, a wizened, old fisherman with a small motor boat came to my rescue. When he pulled up, I told him I was too heavy for him to lift up, but he assured me that he could get me out. He pulled me out of the water, and I was angled directly into his lap. Awkward! But I wasn’t worried about it at a time like that. He got me into his boat, made sure I was ok, which I was, and brought me back. When I told him how embarrassed I was, he said that on the open ocean, things can go from “fine” to “bad” in no time. And I know he’s right.

Ani saw what was going on and grabbed my iPhone to capture the rescue.  LOL.

Ani saw what was going on and grabbed my iPhone to capture the rescue. LOL.

I was just grateful to have his assistance, and to make it back to shore safely.

2013-09-27 16.19.50

2013-09-27 16.01.00

All in all, I am glad I tried it, but my adventure helped me realize a few things:

  1. I need to do more research about the company I use. HMB Kayak was terrible. They gave little instruction, sent me out ill-prepared, and I’ll never use them again.
  2. My next SUP/Kayak will be done on a lake or smaller body of water. The ocean is way too rough for a beginner.
  3. I am strong. I have come so far, and I have so much to be proud of. When I look at myself in this photo, I notice significant changes in my body. I have a ways to go, but I am happy with the way I look now.


The following quote is one that I hold dear.  I first heard it in 1997, my first year of teaching.  I used it as a prompt/quickwrite for my students to start to write about their dreams.  It made such an impact that one of them gave the saying to me on a paperweight that I still keep on my teacher’s desk today.

Fear of failure stops people from attempting to do so many things; I’m happy to say that I don’t let it prevent me from doing anything, because every “fail” comes with a lesson that teaches something new.


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I cannot believe that it’s been over a week since I posted something on this blog.  Sorry for the disappearing act.  I’ve been busy with the holidays, but I’ve also been working a lot out in my head lately and didn’t want to come back to the blog until I’d worked some things out.  More on that in the next blog post.

But this post is about the Countdown to Christmas/NYE Challenge, so let’s get to it. It’s not too late for you to join in on the challenge:

  1. Choose a specific, realistic goal that you can achieve by December 31st.
  2. Post weekly updates (you choose the day) about your progress.
  3. Decide on a gift (reward) that you’ll give yourself when you meet your goal.
  4. Post the Countdown Badge above on your blog when you post your weekly update, and link back to either ScaleWarfare or me, if possible!

My Countdown to Christmas/NYE Challenge was:

  1. My goal is to stick to 1200 calories M-F (1400-1600 Sat & Sun) AND to hit the gym 4 days a week.
  2. I’m going to start posting on Fridays.
  3. My gift is going to be a new pair of sneakers.

This week has been absolutely horrible in terms of my goals.  I didn’t go the gym since last Friday (until yesterday, but that’s the start of my new week), and I’ve been eating pretty horribly, beginning with a major meltdown of the Panda Express variety on Monday night.  There are lots of excuses I could give, but it all boils down to self-sabotage and lack of true commitment.

So I’m dusting myself off and starting fresh this week.  I went to the gym yesterday for a personal training session, and I’m committing to go to the gym again Sunday. Most of today is going to be spent cleaning and organizing around the house, as well as decorating for Christmas, which is fun.

Even though I’m not proud of the slip-up, I’m very proud that I’m bouncing back and getting on with this challenge.  How have you been doing with it?

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