Two days, two sore calves, and two great, new workouts…
1) Yesterday I had two firsts: using Groupon and paddleboarding. Both went really well. I never even fell in the water! We pushed off from shore in the swollen river. It had rained so much that the normally clear water was murky and over its banks. With the calm of the morning, it had turned to a black mirror. Our paddles broke ripples to shore and my instructor pondered aloud, “The alligators usually sit on the banks that the water has risen over. I wonder where they are now?” Um, okay, let’s hope not swimming. We paddled on with new motivation not to fall in. Another thought that came out, “Because the water is so murky, it is hard to see where the fallen trees are, so if you feel something under your board, that is probably it.” Better to be overturned by a tree than a gator. I followed his path. We make it to the turnaround point. Here is where a natural spring merges with the river. There is an area where we can see to the bottom. I kneel down to take a break and to dip my toes in the cool water. Most newbies, and I am no exception, tend to have foot and toe pain from awkward balancing technique. Mine had gone numb by this point so the rest and cool water was very soothing and relaxing. In one swift motion, my fearless instructor moves from sitting to kneeling and starts towards me. “Is that a snake or a turtle?”, he asks.
I follow his eyes to a spot in the water about 15 feet in front of my board. There is a trail of bubbles coming towards me. The instructor is positioning himself between me and the bubbles. “It’s a turtle.” Thinking that danger had passed, I rose to my feet and declared that I had rested enough and was ready for the journey home. Wow, that cloud looks dark. The forecast did not call for any morning rain. Is that thunder? “We may have to pick up the pace a bit on the way back.” At least we would be going with the current. There are two things that I learned while paddling with purpose: it is easier to balance, it is harder to turn. As I freed myself from the overgrowth along the bank, “that was lightening”. We reached the cover of a bridge right as the sprinkles turned to downpour. I got to practice not falling for 10 minutes before we made a dash to the shore….well he may have dashed, I lumbered.
2) Today, I went hiking in the woods. After yesterday’s adventure, I was planning on going to a park a few miles away and having an easy walk along the banks of a spring fed stream. It was closed. I headed out to another park. It was the one we turned around at yesterday. I had only prepared for an easy walk. No compass, no trail mix, and no bug spray were in my bag. I have a compass app on my phone, so I headed out on the “well marked trails”. There was a cloud of mosquitoes following me. When I stopped to take a photo, I had to pace back and forth while I played with the settings. I had to practice what I learned at my lesson Tuesday. It was cloudy, but that kept it cooler. There were not that many animals to be seen, but I was not up for meeting a bear today anyway. There were not a lot of people on the trails, so it was quiet, but I forgot my pepper spray. Three and a half miles later, I was back in my car and glad the other park was closed.
Does anyone see ET in this photo: