Paddling Around

by Ginger on August 25, 2014

in Celebrations, Day in the Life

One of the things on this year’s to-do list is to “do something really fun for my 35th birthday.” I never know what I mean by that when I make these kinds of statements in January, just that I want to do something more exciting than just go out to dinner. I love going out to dinner, don’t get me wrong, but we go out to dinner all the time–it’s not really anything more special than a typical weekend day. And this year I figured, well, it’s a “milestone” year, I’d like to do something really fun.

Which is how I ended up on a stand up paddleboard this weekend.

I’ve been talking about wanting to try it for a bit–we see the paddleboarders at the beach, and it looks so much more…peaceful, I guess, than surfing. Anyway, it’s been something I’ve been thinking about maybe possibly perhaps wanting to try. So that’s what N.C. got me for my birthday, a lesson & some time out on a board.

We didn’t go out on the ocean (which I’m grateful for!). Instead, we went out on Carlsbad Lagoon, where things were moderately calmer (although we did have to contend with quite a bit of wake from the boats that share the lagoon), and we didn’t have to worry about getting out past the breakers. The guy who did our lesson spent 20 or so minutes teaching us the basics on land, and then we were off in the water.

We started out on our knees for a ways, to get us a little used to the board & the paddle. We headed to a marina to stand up for the first time–the water was calm and still there without the wakes and wind of the rest of the lagoon–and boy am I glad we did that. For as calm and peaceful as the paddleboarders always look? Yeah, it’s harder than it seems. It took me a bit to get my balance, even on the calmer water, and my legs were a bit shaky in the whole endeavor there at the beginning. Right when I thought I was getting fairly comfortable, we headed back towards the open lagoon, got hit with some mild waves and….

Splash.

Into the water. Oh well, I was expecting to end up in the water a few times, so the fact that it was less than 30 minutes into our time on the water & when we hit our first waves? Eh, I’m ok with that.

Back on the board (well, eventually. I fell off the board trying to get back on. I never said I was graceful), and back on my feet, and out onto the lagoon. This time, I held on, and we made our way across the lagoon, watching fish jump (seriously, some of these fish were getting 2-3 feet off the water!), boats speed around, and kayakers and paddleboarders make their way around the water.

We took a brief break on the opposite shore, and my legs felt super wobbly back on land. Balancing on the board was taking all my lower body & core strength, and being on land really highlighted what kind of effort it was taking. (Yeah, yeah, I’m out of shape.)

After a few minutes sitting on the beach relaxing, we headed back out again. This time, we were heading into the wind, and the boats were still speeding around making waves for us, so it was…a pretty good workout. I was starting to get comfortable-ish though–enough so that I could have a conversation with our instructor while we were paddling at least. It was hard work, but also not hard work, in that it was working many many muscle groups (and oh man, did I feel it the next day!), but I was starting to get comfortable with the rhythm of it all.

Yeah, right about then was when I fell in the water again.

Oh well.

Back on the board, and we paddled around for a little while longer. I worked on getting my stroke form down, and making smoother turns, and, oh yeah, not falling in the water again. I succeeded in that last one, only getting wet again when we brought the boards all the way to shore & I hopped off into the shallows. N.C. paddled around a bit more, and our instructor let him try the smaller, faster board that he’d been using, while I watched from a chair in the shade. N.C. did great on the littler board, though he did hit the water once, but that thing was definitely more challenging than the massive beasts we had been learning on.

We left with a handshake to our instructor, information on rentals, and that nice tired feeling from a good workout in the sun. I definitely want to do it again–despite the hard work, it WAS the kind of peaceful I thought it might be when I first started watching paddleboarders months ago, and I enjoyed the challenge and the serenity of it.

And almost more importantly, I felt a bit of satisfaction with myself–trying something new, that I had no idea if I’d be any good at (while in a bathing suit no less!), at almost 35, made me feel pretty happy. I tend to get wrapped up in my own thoughts of what I can and can’t do, and I didn’t do that at all this time. I felt good about myself for trying, and I felt good about myself when I was done.

I’d say that’s a pretty good birthday gift.

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Any Excuse for Cake

by Ginger on August 21, 2014

in Blogging & Social Media

My blog is 6 years old today. Blogging is incredibly different today than it was when I first opened up that WordPress dashboard back then…in ways big and small, it’s not anything like it was.

But I can’t understate how important this space, and the people I’ve met because of it, has been for me. I have had a place to express myself, to be silly, to mark milestones large and small, to record bits of my life–if for no one else, for me. And along the way, I have met some amazing people, and made some good friends. It’s been wonderful.

So thank you, for reading, and being my sounding board, and being my friends. I’m pretty lucky to have you…all because I started this blog.

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Summer Thunderstorm

by Ginger on August 20, 2014

in Day in the Life

I woke up this morning, disoriented. I heard a rumbling, but couldn’t figure out what it was–dream? big truck? earthquake? My mostly still asleep brain couldn’t process what I was hearing.

And then: CRRRRRRAAAAAAACCCCCCKKKKKK

A giant peal of thunder shook the last shreds of foggy-headedness away. THAT was a noise I recognized, though we hear it incredibly rarely in San Diego. I love thunder when it’s a little bit away from where I am, the roll and rattle, the deep boom that vibrates through you. I reveled in the familiar, comforting sound for a minute, before realizing that oh crap, N.C. had wood panels outside. Thunder doesn’t ALWAYS mean rain, but there’s a reason you tend to hear about them together, so while it wasn’t raining at the moment, I knew it could be any minute.

I woke N.C. up, and he processed a bit like me–groggy, then quickly aware when he realized what was going on. We both jumped out of bed and headed outside to grab his stuff before the rain came. When big fat drops started coming down intermittently a few minutes later, the abrupt start to the morning was at least somewhat vindicated.

Because it was earlier than my alarm, I allowed myself to lie back down, and enjoy the noisy quiet of a thunderstorm about to start picking up steam. The thunder continued for quite a while, but the real rain didn’t reach us for almost another hour. I had forced myself out of bed and into the routine of the morning, and was almost done with my makeup when it really started to get going.

I could hear it getting more intense–the rain picked up, the wind picked up, lightning flashed, the thunder got louder and the time between peals got shorter.

Then: FLASH

Then: CRRRRRRAAAAAAACCCCCCKKKKKK with a heavy BOOOOOOOM to go with it.

Car alarms in the neighborhood started going off, triggered by the intensity of the thunder. The dog, who has never been in a thunderstorm of any real substance, got this panicked look on her face, so I sat down next to her to pet her while the thunder continued to roll in.

N.C. came home from dropping Jackson off at school, and we chatted a bit about how unusual this was, how much we needed the rain, how much the dog was freaking out, and how intense it seemed to be getting. Lighting was followed by thunder within 10 or so seconds now, and the rain was coming down in sheets.

And then, the flash and the crack happened almost instantaneously, probably separated by no more than 2 or 3 seconds. It was that sharp, intense crack and tooth rattling boom that comes from dangerous proximity to lightning striking, with none of the soothing rumbles of thunder from a distance. It sounded like it was on top of us. I jumped, even though we had not 10 seconds before been talking about how close it all sounded, and my heart beat like wild from the adrenaline of the scare. It was intense in that moment where nature took all the focus, crowding out any other thought beyond this storm, this very minute.

And then it was time to go. I said goodbye to my husband, grabbed my umbrella (with a couple of busted ribs, as it turns out), and ran to the car. I still managed to get fairly soaked from the shins down, and out of lack of practice, managed to get my face and hair a little wet in the open-umbrella-narrow-door dance. Once situated, I wiped the rain off my face and hair, and then I sat, still and quiet, for a minute before putting the keys in the ignition. I looked out the window at the world melting around me, then closed my eyes to soak up the sounds of a summer thunderstorm.

 

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Bring Back the Words

by Ginger on August 19, 2014

in Blogging & Social Media

Let’s get this week’s prompts! (And don’t forget you can write about any prompt at any time!)

1. Look around you & write about something you see right now.

2. Exhale (whatever that makes you think of/want to write about)

Enjoy!

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Refilling

by Ginger on August 17, 2014

in Day in the Life

This weekend was one of those weekends that just helps recharge those parts of you that are depleted, you know? After the past week in particular, it was nice to find those parts of me recharged and refilled. We kicked things off when N.C., Jackson & I had dinner on Friday night with Caitlin (who Jackson has decided needs to come and live at our house)…and good food, good drinks and lovely company are always good ways to start the weekend.

Saturday was marred a bit by a stupidly expensive vet visit–the dog and her allergies are a freaking money pit right now–and some other unfortunate expenditures. But it was made up for by sitting in the grass at the park with my family, and a sleepover for Jackson at his dojo that allowed N.C. and I to enjoy a wonderful dinner of pho, crash a Rita’s private opening(they invited us in, I swear), and go see Guardians of the Galaxy (A+, recommend). It’s always nice to have time to reconnect with the guy I’m married to, you know?

Today we spent at the beach, and it was one of those gorgeous San Diego days that remind me that I’m lucky as hell to live here. The current was CRAZY strong, so I didn’t spend much time in the water, but the boys splashed and played, and…I mean, despite all the stresses and irritations and frustrations of day to day life, I’m living a life that I’m happy to have.

There’s an awful lot of sadness and shit in the world, too much really. In a lot of ways, I feel ridiculous writing about my little happy life over here when there’s so much horrible shit in the world, and believe me, I recognize the MYRIAD of privileges in my life, and the ways I’ve been flat out lucky too. But honestly, remembering the good of my life helps counteract the boulder of sadness that sits on my chest after weeks like this past one and it helps refill the parts of me that get worn down and hopeless.

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