On the note of post-children body syndrome, some of us mom’s hesitate to get out in the sunshine and onto the water due to the excess baggage we may be carrying around the midline, yet, we long to take in the fresh air and re-sun our skin. It’s been approximately 8 years since I’ve been able to obtain sun-kissed skin from head to toe, and as to the overall renovation of my body, I find more and more priorities piled on my plate, snuffing out any chance of bringing my body back from its downward spiral of deprivation. I have decided I have to find a way to sneak in this small sensory snack with some payback! It can be me, and only me, finding the creative way to take care of this vessel meant to be fueled for my family, those intimate and close to me, or those merely acquainted with me. It is that fine line of nurturing our whole self in the ebb and flow of life.
In the name of healthy life balance, I decided to take on the goal of making some time for me, and in turn, for everybody. I set my date and time, and left for my chosen form of body-mind rebuilding; stand-up paddling. True to form, having maintained my multi-tasking mom frenzy, I arrived to my renovation destination with only 20 minutes left to spare. I was realizing I may have to can the idea of operation recoup mom’s body. In an amazing act of grace, a co-worker offered a schedule swap; starting 40 minutes early for me, switched over his splash-proof sundial (aka waterproof watch) for my Celtic wrist décor and set me off to stand-up paddle away.
Part of the dilemma we face heading to the water is what to wear; there was no way I was going to go trapsing through town bikini-clad. Knee-length surf shorts and a tank over my bikini served my belly better. But then the dilemma of where to put my outer clothes layer: needless to say, this was a balance experiment changing my coverings on an SUP on the water; think core strengthening. I ultimately tied my tank to the top of my paddle, as tucking it into the waistline of my surf shorts was not working. In the future, I may secure the tank with a drip ring to keep it from slowly sliding down the paddle shaft. Laugh with me here: then I thought, hmmm, wear a red tank, and ultimately, you will have a safety flag on the top of your paddle, further ensuring a safe return to those eagerly waiting children we have at home! Leave it to a mom to make a tank top multi-functional! My surf shorts were large enough to roll up and down and were a quick dry material, wearing Five Fingers were perfect for the hike to the water, and just right on the board for grip, especially when attempting some balance-required yoga moves on the SUP. My goal is a yoga headstand by the end of the summer; though currently I can only flow from Downward Facing Dog with variation of the leg lift to Upward Facing Dog, into low lunge and Warrior 2. Confession: I have accomplished this smoothly on my right side, but on my left, I kept flopping into the water on Warrior 2. No pride; I got up and tried again, and again, and again- my falls were improving in grace. Eventually I was able to hold it 3 seconds on my trying left side before I moved into a more confident pose; back to the old flow of Downward to Upward Facing Dog. It’s a process, but it's refreshing.
One would think that after being non-stop lifting kids and gear so much over the years our bodies would be naturally buff, but that often begins at the biceps and ends at the buttocks. WHY?!? Maybe it is to help us appreciate children and life more than love of self, and in turn, we return to care of self to serve those we love. Well, “no pain, no gain”, because today, every muscle is feeling challenged to re-strengthen itself: hamstrings, quads, pecks, biceps, and forearms. A choppy time on the waves makes for a great restructuring of the mind, body, and heart. Physically taxed, I was mentally renewed with an “I can do” attitude. Like, I am WO-MAN, hear me roar…(or at least meow). I will do it again. Come join me mama! My theory on Stand-Up Paddling: it’s like those fresh, white pants in baseball; you go out to the diamond, pick up some dirt or sand, and spread it all over your knees and thighs, so you fear not to give all or slide. When each new game starts, you say, “Play ball!!!”. With that mentality on the lake, you get wet right away, jump in, fall in, whatever, and release those inhibitions. It’s like the no-bones-about-it loss of modesty post-birth; it can be freeing and remove the obstacles of pride, and seems almost necessary to get to business at the time. Get out, love the water, love your body, love your mind and heart, and in turn, love your family and all those around you!
Seizing the MOMent,