sup, buttercup?

One of the unexpected side effects of running is that I have found myself a lot more adventurous. Maybe it’s self-confidence – I’m no longer afraid of people point and laughing at the unathletic girl struggling and failing. Or maybe I’m at a point where I subconsciously realize that I have done enough sitting on the sidelines and I owe it to myself to try new experiences.

Five years ago, I never would have hooked myself up to a cable and dangled over an alligator pit.

And I am also fairly certain that I wouldn’t have paid a sum of money in order to run 26.2 miles. Voluntarily. In public. In shorts.

But over the last three years, I have done both of those things, among others, and I have the feeling like there is so much more I need to do and see and try.

It’s been way too long since I’ve been to yoga – work and little man’s schedule, combined with juggling running for both me and Mr PugRunner have limited my time – but I do stay in contact with my former yoga instructors and keep up with the cool events they host. Since last year, I have been telling myself that I should try one of Mady’s stand up paddleboard yoga classes, but for some reason, it just never happened.

However, a few weekends ago, a reminder for the SUP class popped up on my Facebook feed. The class was on a Sunday night, and I wasn’t able to attend, so I messaged Mady to ask when the next one was going to be. She responded that she had a session going out the next morning at 9:30.

And that she was reserving my board.


No way could I back out now, so after I dropped little man at camp, I headed down to Salt Run by the lighthouse to meet up with her and the group.

I was so. Freaking. Nervous. I was absolutely convinced that I wasn’t going to be able to get on the board, and that I was going to make a huge laughingstock of myself.

The paddle boards were provided by a company called The Salty Paddle.

I know exactly nothing about paddle boards, but these seemed very new and well maintained.

Mady arrived and introduced me to owners Warren and Denise, and we helped pull the boards down to the water’s edge while we waited for the rest of the group. I think we had about eight people, total.

Since I had never been on a board before, I got a quick lesson on balancing and paddling. Denise adjusted the length of my paddle and we all got the rundown about paddling our knees until we reached a certain point of the inlet, before attempting to stand up if we so desired.

I thought the hardest part would be actually getting on the board, but as long as the bottom fin was clear of the bottom, we were able to hop on, which meant not having to rely on upper arm strength. Yay.

For the paddle out, I stayed on my knees. It took me a few strokes to get the hang of the paddle, but I felt incredibly comfortable. All things considered.

Our entire group made its way to a designated spot where Warren was waiting with an anchor and line. The goal was for everyone to get tethered to the line so we wouldn’t drift during our practice. I struggled getting in position, but Warren was very gracious, and helped get me turned around so he could tie off my board. And paddle. I didn’t like not having the paddle.

By the time, we were ready to get started, and Mady led us through a very gentle flow. It was certainly challenging. the water was pretty calm, but there were poses I just couldn’t achieve because of the rocking of the board and trying to maintain my balance.

I was able to stand up. I was not able to balance on one foot. My upper legs were shaking so badly most of the time, and I definitely had to modify some of my poses to accommodate the exertion.

But I did it. And I didn’t fall off.

After the official class, Mady encouraged us to play around with some fun poses. Some of the people in the class were able to do amazing inversions, while I managed this two-footed tree.

We also took a few minutes to enjoy the beauty of the day, and that’s when we saw dolphins!

It was incredible, being so very close to them.

And then it was time to unhook from the line and paddle back in. I did stay on my feet for a few strokes, but my legs were still shaking badly, so I dropped down for the rest of the way in.

Was I sore? Oh, yes. But I really enjoyed it. And I want to go back to try again. I absolutely loved the challenge and I see so much room for self-improvement. I’m also incredibly grateful to Mady for giving me the push.

Here’s hoping I can enjoy another few rounds before the water begins to get more rough in the fall.

What’s something you have done that terrified you but you ending up enjoying?

Would you ever try yoga on a stand up paddle board?

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39 Responses to sup, buttercup?

  1. Kudos to you for pushing yourself to try something new and scary. Its always so rewarding to find that you enjoy something that you were so scared to try out.
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…August 2015 Monthly GoalsMy Profile

  2. That looks awesome! And it’s a total two-for since you get a yoga class and paddle board use!
    Awesome job! I’m glad they tie you up too… I was wondering how that worked!
    Stacie Seidman recently posted…Thursday’s Threads!My Profile

  3. Hurray for overcoming fears and trying new things! I would love to try SUP yoga, but living in the desert I’m pretty sure it would be hard to find a class 🙂
    Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs recently posted…How to Overcome the Top 5 Exercise ExcusesMy Profile

  4. Darlene says:

    I’d love to try SUP. Yoga on a SUP? Not sure. I have problems on land with that. I have zero flexibility.
    Darlene recently posted…Friday Five: Race Day SurprisesMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It was honestly a lot more about balance than flexibility. There was one person who could do a sideways crow on the board, and one who could barely get to her feet. It’s all about finding your comfort zone there, and it was so peaceful. But even doing the paddle board alone is such great core work and so peaceful.

  5. I love how much your confidence has grown through running and exercising! SUP is lots of fun I need to do it again!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Summer Foot Care TipsMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It’s really kind of amazing when you think about it. I figure people would be less adventurous as they get older, but I seem to be going in reverse. I’m good with that, though. It really brings meaning to that whole “The best is yet to come” phrase.

  6. I want to come next time!! 🙂

  7. “And I am also fairly certain that I wouldn’t have paid a sum of money in order to run 26.2 miles. Voluntarily. In public. In shorts.”

    Best. Line. Ever! LOL

    To answer one of your questions yes I have done something that terrified me and enede up enjoying it: Running. Sadly, I spent most of my life thinking I hated it. But here I am, training for the Goofy Challenge. Voluntarily. In public. And yes, in shorts.
    Frank@The Fat Runner recently posted…Galloway Tips: Dealing with the HeatMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Shorts are a big deal to me. I would say that I probably avoided shorts like the plague for… 15 years? Longer? I mean, occasionally I would wear a pair because I was low on clean clothes or was trying to break out of my comfort zone, but now they are pretty regular staple. Especially for running. Who knew?

      You are going to do so well with the Goofy Challenge. I’m so proud of you.

  8. I’ve had SUP and SUP Yoga on my list of things to try for AGES. I’m really hoping to finally cross it off my list this summer 🙂
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…How to Buy Running ShoesMy Profile

  9. How cool!!! I’ve always wanted to try stand up paddle boarding and imagine trying to do yoga on one is extremely challenging! Go you!
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Fit & Fashionable Friday: Fabletics July CollectionMy Profile

  10. Becki S says:

    This looks so fun!! I haven’t ever done SUP yoga but I love hot yoga and I think this would be so fun.
    Becki S recently posted…Fluffly Friday: Meet ShilohMy Profile

  11. Angie says:

    That looks like a lot of fun. It is awesome that you got out there and did it!
    Angie recently posted…Happy thoughtsMy Profile

  12. Marcia says:

    This is the coolest! Good for you for trying this. I’ve not done SUP but would love. I would’ve been way too scared had I not learned to swim this year. That was the scariest thing for me.
    Marcia recently posted…Runfessions: Prison EditionMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Oh, wow! That’s fantastic that you just learned! In the interest of full disclosure, the water was not deep. In fact, where we were, the water wasn’t even waist-high. Which is crazy because it must have gotten deeper around us so the dolphins could swim.

  13. I”ve done SUP but never SUP yoga! The water here is either too cold or too gross…next March when I’m in Florida, I want to try it! And hopefully the dolphins will visit me too!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Runfessions for JulyMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Oh, yeah. I want nothing to do with cold or gross water. We already have sharks, flesh-eating bacteria, brain-eating amoeba and all sorts of vile things, so I want my water to be pretty and healthy! But definitely see if you can! The water might be rougher in March, but if you can manage it, go for it!

  14. Ariana says:

    That looks so fun!! Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone and doing it. I looove paddleboarding, but I haven’t tried SUP yoga yet! That’s next on my list, so thanks for reminding me about it 😉
    Ariana recently posted…The Best Exercises for RunnersMy Profile

  15. rachel says:

    Oh this looks like fun! I have paddleboarded and did some of my own SUP yoga… but I would love to do a class.
    rachel recently posted…Shopping at Dicks Sporting Goods with the BoysMy Profile

  16. Kathy Nguyen says:

    That is so cool. As a former non-athlete I totally get it. Running has changed everything for me. We paddle boarded for the first time with family in California last summer. Yoga on it sounds challenging.
    Kathy Nguyen recently posted…When Life Gets in the WayMy Profile

  17. priya says:

    Incredibly inspiring!!

  18. Stephanie says:

    This is definitely on my fitness bucket list. I have never been paddle boarding and I’m not much of a yogi but I love being on the water and I love a new challenge. Thanks for sharing your experience, it has made me want to do it even more!
    Stephanie recently posted…Fitness at 45 & The Fit-Faith Link UpMy Profile

  19. jill conyers says:

    From the smile on your face I’d guess you were having a great time. I’ve been wanting to try SUP forever! Very cool and it looks like such a beautiful place.
    jill conyers recently posted…Are You Setting Smart Goals?My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      That was probably closer to a “Dear God, please don’t let me fall in while she’s taking this picture” grimace – you can see my foot clenching. But seriously. It was fun.

  20. Robert says:

    Looks like you had a great time learning how to SUP. I hope to see more of your progress from beginner to a expert in SUPing.

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