I bought a wetsuit.

On Monday I talked about my newfound love of paddle boarding and kayaking and my quest to become an athlete. I’d kayaked enough in the past to know I'd like it, but paddle boarding is 100% new to me.

I’ve always been drawn to water, but I’ve found doing water sports at the lake really suits me for multiple reasons. I love being able to appreciate the mountains and beautiful scenery of East Tennessee from a perspective other than walking in it or driving by it. The tranquility of the water soothes me, which is helpful because I tend to get worked up about things.

But I did have a few problems to overcome as I embraced my new hobbies.

I don’t actually live on the lake.

It’s about a 35 minute drive from my house. I was initially worried that would be a barrier, but thankfully workarounds were pretty easy to implement. I plan chunks of lake time at the beginning of each week. Instead of trying to squeeze in a quick :30 minute workout whenever I can, I have to plan for a 2-4 hour window a few times a week. Since I always go on the lake with a partner I have to coordinate my schedule with someone else. More planning means more commitment, which means it is more likely to happen.

My clients and partners live outside of East Tennessee so I almost always work from home. Since Meg-o (my dog) hasn’t enforced a dress code, it doesn’t matter if I am fresh from the lake when writing a communications plan or doing a Google Hangout.

Winter is coming.

I was worried the colder weather would make me lose my momentum. Kayaking is a bit easier to imagine as a year round sport. You’re in a boat so you’re less likely to get wet. Sure, you could fall out, but so far that has never happened. I’m not white water or ocean kayaking, I am lake kayaking; the water is smooth.

But since I prefer stand up paddle boarding, I had to get a wetsuit*.

This in itself was a big deal. They’re expensive, sizing is limited and it isn’t anything I ever imagined adding to my collection of things. Plus, having a wetsuit means I would have to wear it in places where people could see me!!

Yesterday was my first test wearing the wetsuit at the lake. I did it easily. I paddled for an hour and a half, I fell in and I even stopped to get gas IN THE WETSUIT. Since none of those activities killed me, I am pretty sure I can handle it for the rest of the winter.

I had a doctors appointment today. He noticed I’ve lost weight since my last visit. As I filled him in on my activities I mentioned paddle boarding at the lake yesterday. His response? “Well it certainly sounds like you’re serious if you have a wetsuit.”

 
 

*On a typical day, I don’t fall in. But as it gets colder it becomes necessary for me to wear shoes while paddle boarding and I can’t use my toes to help hold my balance. I really need every tool in my toolkit to keep balanced; I have a hard time standing upright on the ground (even when alcohol ISN’T involved).