Paddling Toward Play
Play. Play outside. Play outside on the water – now we’re talking! So, let’s go after it!
Heading out to our favorite water, be it ocean, lake, river or bay, delivers an absolutely great “play” experience for all ages. Last night we had a rare winter 60 degree evening, no wind and clear skies. The sunset was pink and gold perfection. After a week of sub-freezing evenings it was the ideal time for me to grab my board and go for a paddle. Did I go? No, I was too “busy” for play.
Long after I forget what “busy” stuff I had to accomplish I will remember that I did not go out to play when my mind, body and spirit really needed it. Has that ever happened to you? In a world of busy-ness and multi-tasking, do you ever feel that despite being so very busy you can’t get it all accomplished? Too many irons in the fires of life, and not enough time for pure play. How do we design our balance between priorities, responsibilities and the value of playing outside on the water?
For the lucky few there is no dichotomy between play and work – they seamlessly meld into a satisfying flow. For most of us, “work” and the obligations connected to the life we love and want don’t leave enough time for our definition of “play.” While we put work at the forefront of our minds and lives, our health and happiness might take a back seat. What successes do we Believe will make us (and those we love) happy in the long-run? Can more play make a positive difference?
How often have you connected with your yoga practice or time on the water standup paddling only to discover that you emerged an hour later refreshingly energized or calm? What a difference that vibe has on the rest of your day and for those you engage with. The call to connect with regular “play time outside on the water” aligns with the simple, human need to be outside, free, bold and active. (More here)
The phone or computer home screen images of tropical oceans or sunset over a calm lake often hypnotizes while while at work or indoors. Count and collect the minutes you dream or feel distracted while at “work.” What we long for is time – and permission – to play. This is what we inevitably all want, yet are confused by a myriad of pressures as to how to attain it.
Consider the value of hopping off your board after a nice long paddle with a new sense of stress-free exuberance? Who hasn’t experienced the glow from being out in nature in the sunshine – or even the fog, rain or wind? We paddle with presence while stress and anxiety melt away. What about our lives is enhanced when we postpone the meetings, the emails, and the errands when standing on our SUP watching the sun go down?
Scheduling in a paddle, blocking an hour so that you can rush to the water, paddle hard while watching the clock then bounding back to obligations does not invite the power of play. The YOU who loves to be outside playing on the water deserves the new possibilities and child-like wonder that play can provide.
What did I do today? In the midst of another busy day I determined the warmest portion of the winter Wednesday and scheduled in a 45 minute leisurely paddle with no agenda other than being out on my board on the water. It was stellar!
I threw my inflatable Naish ONE and my KIALOA Paddle in my car when I left for meetings and work at 7:30. By 12:30 I was at the river park. A 5-minute warmup was provided by pumping up the Naish ONE and by 12:35 I was out on the water – where will you play today?