I paddled myself back to a happy stress free life!
How do busy women relax?
They jump on a board and learn to paddle board of course!
I’m not a typical person that would be seen as a paddle boarder, or a ‘surf chick’! At 54 years of age I’ve got poor balance and not a great sense of direction. However, after a trip to the Lake District and trying it for the first time one Summers day on Lake Windermere, I was hooked.
When I say that if I can do it, anyone can, I mean it, as it took me a while to master this fantastic hobby, much longer than any of my friends who have also started since I did.
My first paddle board experience on Lake Windermere was a disaster, great entertainment for everyone else, humiliating for me. I spent most of the time in the water and trying my hardest to climb back on the board in a very undignified way. My sons who were with me were horrified, while my sister along with the other spectators thought it was hilarious. However, something clicked and I felt alive, I felt like I had finally found a hobby that challenged me and that I could enjoy.
On our return, I researched paddle boarding lessons and found somewhere that did them locally, when I mentioned that I was going to learn, I had three friends who wanted to come along too as they had been thinking about it signing up for lessons as well. Again, the lesson was great, but again I was in the water more than on the board. My friends seems to pick it up quickly as they only fell in once!
After chatting to my instructor that I my balance wasn’t good as I have a weak core. This was due to having two caesareans and a weak back, which I learnt very quickly that you needed – both a strong core and back. I was struggling with stress, being overweight after eating my way through lock down, but I wanted to do this… I was hooked.
I was determined to persevere so, I went out with a couple of friends, brought a inflatable paddle and threw myself into it. I had a couple more lessons and then went out as often as I could to build my confidence and to perfect paddle boarding.
A year later, I am now the proud owner of two paddle boards. I can stand, in fact its very rare now I fall in. I have joined some local paddle boarding groups and have made new friends. I can honestly say it’s been the best stress relief for me. As soon as I get on to the water, I feel happy and calm, any stress or tension simply melts away. Its amazing the difference surrounding yourself with water can make you feel. Nature is beautiful on a river, being surrounded by water is therapeutic as well as good fun. Paddle boarding has not only made me fitter but I’ve lost weight to. I was determined to not humiliate myself anymore by not being able to pull myself back up the board, I knew I had to do something and this was the kickstart I needed.
Over the years I have suffered with my hormones, PMS when I was younger, then PMDD after having children, which sends you into a really dark place each month. 6 years ago I had a full hysterectomy as it was my last option and thankfully it has really helped. I also have a hormone patch on each day, called hapihormones, which keeps me on a even keel and balanced mentally.
There is no better feeling than finishing work on a sunny day and then heading off for a paddle, its my feel good factor. I have fallen in love with the water, so much so, I started cold water dipping last year. Again that’s a different buzz, its really invigorating I’m so into this new found idea we actually went out into a freezing lake on Christmas eve.
If you’ve tried the usual gym routines and it’s not worked for you
then have a go at Paddle Boarding it could be just what you’re looking for…
About The Author
Lorraine Clark is a divorced mum of two boys, Olly 20 and Will 17. I’m 54 and run my own business called hapihealth.
I’m passionate about women’s health and alternative remedies, I spent too many years being filled with antidepressants to help with my anxiety, PMDD and hormone health. All they did was mask the real problem, they made me feel foggy and not myself.
I and my business partner Samantha, wanted to be able to offer natural products for women. Samantha has had chronic illness for many years and then breast cancer. For medical reasons she isn’t allowed to take HRT. The hapihormone patch is a natural alternative to HRT. It can also help with PMDD To find out more visit: www.hapihealth.co.uk