Category Archives: SUP Fitness

SUP Balance: Body, Mind, Spirit and Ocean

tg3As my Oregon seasons change and it is finally the full on season for paddling lakes, rivers – and the west coast ocean – I am ready to work my way into my best fitness and performance. I’m paddling fast towards my 68th birthday on June 2 and am seeking a good balance of nutrition/wellness. A few Facebook posts in which I inquired, “what works for you” delivered the most passionate and informational replies, more than anything I have ever posted before. (Thank you ALL)

Until I read the book SUPERLIFE (Thanks from the bottom of my heart to Karen Wrenn), I thought the “best me” would be a thinner, leaner me. So I had sworn off beer (Yes, I live in beer-town Bend, Oregon), then I did Weight Watchers (points vs activity), dabbled in Paleo, learned the “SUPERFOODS -Top 14 Foods That Will Change Your Life.” ( an eye-opening book by Steven Pratt and Kathy Matthews). I even worked hard on following an “acid-reflux” diet when some disturbing symptoms made me worry. That led to Alejandro Junger’s CLEAN GUT and Dr. William Davis’s WHEAT BELLY.

Who knew that my biggest “crave food,” pizza, was made best with high-gluten flour. I already knew that flour products wreck havoc with my joints where arthritis (yup, inflammation) has set up a home. When I avoid all flour products I have less ache-y and swelling and more energy. That has been a fairly easy habit to maintain for the past 5 years.

Back to SUPERLIFE. Who knew that a very real, solid and do-able strategy was a simple as an alkaline body, something above a PH of 7.0. Uh Oh! Just when chemistry seemed like a long-ago thing you had to study. Of all the “diets” and eating plans/rationales I studied, SUPERLIFE made the most sense. Author, Darin Olien, is fully immersed in the work he does – and we can all benefit. Their MISSION:  We provide resources for people to make the simple lifestyle changes needed to live a healthy SuperLife. vegsuper

Balance is something we standup paddlers know alot about. And SUPERLIFE is about a balance of 5 “Life Forces.” These are: nutrition, hydration, oxygenation, alkalization and detoxification. In the most balanced and logical manner Darien took me on a fascinating journey during both the first, and second, reads of his book.

vegAnd so, finally, I discovered the rationale behind something that might seem too simple. Darin explains the five simple fixes that will make you healthy fit and (yes, this) eternally awesome. After my reading, I listed suggested foods that would add to my alkalinity – actually wrote down the ones I could eat regularly, easily.

I then made a list of things that added acidity – just to keep me focused on avoiding them. No, you don’t need to NEVER have those (sugary things, caffeine, alcohol), but you need to be aware that they create an environment in your home. Yes, in your home that is your physical body, that is more acidic. There is not enough room for me to explain the entire philosophy here.

But know this: I have taken the time to read and understand what are the “five life forces” and why they matter. What a big surprise! Hydration is right up there with nutrition, followed by the gift of a cardio workout – oxygenation.  Then along came the “life force” I never even considered: ALKALIZATION. What?

That was the biggest eye opener – and on a very strict eating and workout plan that generated the most alkaline me I discovered an energy and wellness level that I hadn’t felt in a long, long time. By the time I got to the fifth life force, detoxification, I was on the band wagon.

There are so many ways to feed your water athlete self.  If you really want to make a difference (at any age), take a close read of SUPERLIFE.  I would love your comments and the discoveries in wellness that you have made.

I am only this young (what? 67.8 years) once. I am dedicated to making the best of it.

 

 

Power of Presence: SUP and Meditation

As more and more attention is given to the practice of meditation, we come to realize where the magic begins. The power within meditation begins with breath awareness. Have you had that moment in a yoga class when you follow a breath all the way to an open heart – and that still moment at the top – then followed the exhale with full awareness? That’s just one opportunity for the power of presence.

SUP Meditation: Presence on the water

Traditional meditation practiced while seated provides a rich opportunity to calm our mind-body and bring a new mindful presence and balance to life.  For those of us who find a sense of meditative calm while on the water, a unique practice called “Power of Presence SUP” or P2SUP can allow us to meditate while enjoying our favorite pasttime. cropped-p2sup_logo_v2_vert_250-300x300

It’s easy to head out for a paddle and become scatter-brained and defocused. Thoughts of work/relationship/life problems, busy-ness and plans chatter through our mind. With P2SUP guided meditations, anyone can enjoy a mindful and present meditation practice while standup paddling – from the very first session. (Learn more here)

Have you ever started out on a paddle ready for calm and realize you’ve got a monkey-mind along for the ride? The monkey mind bounces around from one thing to another. It is as if we are on an out of control horse, heading to the nearest cliff.  Our senses and emotions become reactive, not reflective.

 

Breathing Meditation: Enjoy a P2SUP experience (give us 15 minutes)

pc201522The goal of meditation is to diminish the self into focus and mindfulness so we can be free, compassionate (with ourselves and others) and discover stress-free calm.

 

SUP has a great effect to calm the mind. Even while paddling our ability to pay attention is sometimes degraded by the fast pace of our modern world. Before a training paddle, or one that is simply being out on the water, taking time to pay attention and practice a p2SUP meditation is the key to this end. Our sport provides us with many opportunities to meditate. p2SUP can be your guide as you develop your own practice over time.

Explore More:

We invite you to Live Presence and Share Presence.

Introduction to P2SUP

The Basics of P2SUP

How Do I Begin?

Why Walk On Water?

7 Reasons to P2SUP

The Birth of P2SUP

Explore, “All SUP is Yoga.

Power Paddler: Roxane Robinson

Many of you have read my posts about the value of coaching, clinics and on-going training for technique and fitness. mental attitude is another aspect of training that is invaluable. (Click TRAINING in Categories) Over the years I have been fortunate to become acquaintedf with the dedication and expertise – and a huge dose of fun – that KIALOA ‘Elele Eveelyn O’Doherty brings to her clients.

You’ll enjoy this story of training and transformation by her client, Roxane Robinson who tackeld the daunting Chattajack this year. In Roxane’s words, “I’ve known Evelyn O’Doherty (Mind Body Excursions) for about 5 years or so.  We both began paddling about the same time, but she came to the sport after surfing.  I’ve never surfed. I paddle with Evelyn, and will be working up a plan with her for my upcoming race season (2016). She is one of the most amazing women in my world.  A great coach, amazing motivator, and she has this incredible ability to make sure you know how great you can be and are.”

We asked Roxane, “What was your favorite part of the training?”

rr-2Roxane was quick to reply, “Well, I loved the comraderie of the women that I train with.  They have become my friends.   We all seem to have this same obsession.  I really enjoy pushing myself to be better and get stronger at a sport that I truly love.”

Elder SUP: What was the biggest change you saw in yourself from the beginning to just before Chattajack?

Roxane explained, “The biggest change was being nervous about the undertaking of such a race (the distance).  There were two time cutoffs, the first 10 miles had to be done in 2 hours and 30 minutes and race had to be completed in 8 hours and 30 minutes.  I wasn’t worried about race cutoff, just the first 10 miles.  I had never paddled that distance in ven close to that time.  Only closer to 3 hours.  But there was the hope that the dam had been opened and we would have a helping current.  In reality, the dam was not opened and there was really no current.  I paddled the first 10 miles in 2 hours.  Yea!!!  After that, I was fine.

But, the Tuesday before Chattajack, while everyone else was nervous, panicky, and freaking out, I had this sense of calm lay over me like a blanket.  Comforting.  Warm.  Calm.  I was serene.  Not nervous anymore.  Not worried about the 10 miles.  Knowing, that I was strong, and there was nothing I could do that would change how I did in the race.  I was going to be fine.rr-1

My feeling before the start of the event was that I was ready.  I was going to paddle 31 (32.48) miles down the Tennessee Valley Gorge.  I was going to paddle my own race.  Look at the scenery.  Breathe it in.  Have fun.  And finish.  I was ready.”

That is all powerful stuff from Roxane. She also shared a bit of back-story.

“I had my 59th birthday  14 days after this race.  I have been paddling for about 6 years.  I am afraid of open water.  I don’t surf.  (But I did swim competitively for about 8 years.)  I was bored.  So deathly  bored.  I saw an article in the local paper about paddling geared toward women.  I made the call, had a private lesson, fell in (ick), paddled again the next day, fell in, and started dreaming about owning my own board.  It consumed me.  One of my best friends is 65.  She races and has been paddling about the same length of time as I have.  Then I met a woman in Tennessee that was doing the Chattajack 31.  She started paddling in June, no lessons, no knowledge, just thought it looked like fun so she gave it a try.  She did great in the race.  She was 65.”

AWe absolutely agree with Roxane on this next comment, “Age is only a number in your head.  I’m proud of my age and that I’m trying new things.  A few years ago I got a tattoo on my wrist.  ‘Be Fearless.’ My son said to me recently, I love that you’re not afraid to be bad. I asked him for a little clarification on this statement.  He said that you aren’t afraid to put yourself out there and try something new.  And you might be bad at it, but you don’t care because you’re having fun.  And he’s right.  I love to have fun.

I have finished last in more than one race.  Dead last.  And those races are some that I am most proud of.  Because  quitting is easy.  Finishing is AWESOME!!!”

We celebrate SUP athletes like Roxane. When you think you don’t have the skills – you can get them. Roxane is a busy career woman, wife and mother. She had many duties over 2015, caring for her husband with serious health issues – and we all know how draining such a responsibility can be.  We can all say, “too busy,” or we can find the support, training and way to paddle toward our passion. Way to go Roxane and Evelyn.

And Roxane continues to copete – her last race was Hamptons Paddle for the Pink! There were brutal conditions out on the bay but Roxane placed 2nd in the women’s 14′ 6 mile race. It’s YOUR life – go for it.

Pacific Paddle Games 2015: Talk Story with Cyril Burguiere

 KIALOA ‘Elele Cyril Burguiere has a passion for paddling. He’s definitely not limited to rivers and oceans in his pursuit of high end training and speed – this busy guy trains whenever and wherever the path leads.
And then there is the day job.  It’s not easy for anyone to get in shape for the dmands of an ocean SUP event. Cyril shares that he came to the 2015 inaugaral Pacific Paddle Games exhausted from a grueling work week. In his words, “I had been to Toronto Mon-Wed with many customers and late nights getting proposals completed. Then work continued late Thursday and a little into the weekend. I actually brought my laptop to the beach. Not the first time – my Payette Games experience was the same (2014). Week prior was travelling too. When I am on the road I use the Exer-Genie exercise tool in my hotel room to keep my pulling muscles working on business trips

Continue reading Pacific Paddle Games 2015: Talk Story with Cyril Burguiere

FAQ Equipment

We often get questions about what equipment is needed for Power of Presence SUP (P2SUP). Once you download a collection of our guided meditations for paddling you are just about ready to go.

While people are used to looking for a very stable – wide and with high volume – boards for SUP Yoga, any board will be fine for p2SUP. Since you will simply be paddling while listenbing to the recorded meditations for your mindful and present experience, no solid base for balance poses will be needed.

cynswwbest
We love Sweet Waterwear and our KIALOA paddles and boards

We use the KIALOA Aloha (board and paddle package) so that we can demo a high value / low expenditure option. No one has been disappointed! Ideal for beginners and sharing with family and friends, the Aloha is a perfect way to get started with the sport of stand up paddling. The 31” wide board provides great stability and makes for easy paddling. The soft top is impact resistant and provides a safe and comfortable way to enjoy the sport. An offset handle makes it easy to transport to and from the water. The four point tie down system is perfect for caring your water bottle or flip flops. Includes 10’ leash for safety and a 10” fin for good tracking. The tail bumper adds durability and is ideal for vertical storage. The package includes the family friendly Aloha Adjustable paddle.

If storage is an issue – or if you would love to check a bag (that includes your SUP board) we also use the KIALOA Napali inflatable. We can’t count the number of times people have come back from a backpack trip (with their KIALOA Napali board and an MP3 loaded with P2SUP meditations) all stoked and excited by the experience. cynswwwater1

Whatever your needs, make your decision about what board will be best, grab your paddle and MP3 player (or waterproof case protected phone) and get out on the water. You will love the experience.

You might wonder about our super-cool model. She is Cynthia LaRoche, the soul and spirit behind the meditations you will enjoy at P2SUP. If you want to learn more about all she can offer in the realm of superb yoga instruction and experience, check out Cynthia LaRoche Yoga.

We like to wear performance paddling attire that feels amazing on the skin, moves as we move, dries quickly and looks great. Our “go-to” gear comes from Sweet Waterwear. Some of the stellar characteristics are:

  • PERFECT for cooler weather paddling or just to cover up.  
  • UPF 50+ Outstanding rating in UVA & UVB sun protection
  • Silky Soft Comfort– Our special tricot knit is soft & satin smooth, no chafing
  • 4-Way Stretch – Premium Nylon/Spandex blend stretches to move with you
  • Breathes – Cool touch Tricot knit breathes to keep you cooler & not overheat
  • Quick Dry – Thin performance fabric holds less water & Dries Fast
  • Mesh Underarm Panels – Cool your core
  • No Underarm Seams – Eliminates underarm chafing
  • Relaxed Loose Fem Crew Neck – for comfort & easy on / off
  • Fab & Fun Colorways
  • Raglan Seams
  • Flatlock Stitching
  • Customizable – Blank front for your club, team or store name &/or Logo
  • Multisport / Cross Training – extra versatility, great for any sports activity
  • “Made in the USA”

Outrigger to SUP – Seat to Feet

Understanding the basic mechanics and physiology of stand up paddling can increase both motivation and effectiveness of our training.  Recent winner of the Kanaka Ikaika Racing Association Women’s Overall SUP Unlimited Hawaii State Championship in April 2015, Jane McKee (profile article here), has taken the time to share some of her solid insights with us. After decades racing OC1 and OC6, Jane began focusing on training for SUP downwind and events in August 2014.

janemt1Jane provides these tips, “The one thing I noticed immediately after training for SUP is what a huge energy expenditure SUP requires. On my one man I am sitting comfortably on a foam seat, locked into my craft as though I was part of it. On the SUP the only thing locking me onto my board is the bottom of my feet. Every large muscle group comes into play, and in the first month I was completely gassed after about 5 miles. I felt like I was doing squats the whole time, and, well, you pretty much are.

Training Nugget:Technique is a big factor in SUP. Leading with the hip, using the big core muscles and leg muscles to balance and drive the board forward, all come into play.

I found that the principles of the stroke are pretty much the same in outrigger and SUP. Keep the start of the stroke way up front, and finish the stroke by the feet. Because the SUP paddle is such a long lever, triceps, lats and biceps get a healthy workout. I never weight trained for one man, but find weight training to be beneficial in SUP to keep from getting injured. Also I had to train my legs more. It is very much a leg sport. I did notice that after 2 or three days a week on the SUP and I had to cross train. This is when I would get back on my one man. It is a perfect combination to alternate. The one man gives your body relief from the rigors of the standup while allowing you to train similar muscles and keep your endurance training. And you avoid burnout while still getting to be on the ocean.

Training Nugget: Consider weight training, especially the legs and add some cross training to your SUP routine.janemt2

Everyone has told me I have picked up the sport fast. I have to attribute that to many years of training basically the same muscle groups used in SUP, racing outrigger a LOT.  Primarily it is my ability to read the ocean, linking up the waves and finding the path of least resistance. You either have it or you don’t. Some people never get it. It is an absolute must if you want to compete in open-ocean or downwind paddling. When I give OC1 clinics this is a favorite topic. People want to know HOW. I can explain the physics, and dynamics, analyze wave patterns and currents, but you have to get out on the ocean and understand what it is doing that day. You have to really look; pay attention and most of all FEEL the ocean and hear what it is telling you. It is, in my opinion, a gift.

Training Nugget: To read waves and succeed in down wind and open ocean events you need to spend time in the ocean and practicing “reading” all aspects of wind, wave and current. It is a life long practice – and a gift.

janemt3I decided to race SUP this year in the Kanaka Ikaika race series that culminates in the State Championships in April. As I only had my one board, the 17’4 Unlimited, that is the board I raced every race even if it was flat or upwind. People thought I was crazy but I figured if I could push that big board on the flat just think what I could do if it were windy? In the months leading up to the States race I had to really pay attention to not over training by eating well, getting enough rest and learning to say no. Learning to say no if I were tired, even though the conditions were excellent.

Your body repairs itself during sleep. Adequate rest is vital to improve your fitness.

Training Nugget: As an older athlete, recovery takes longer, and I have learned to listen to my body. I could write a book on training as an older athlete, and have learned by trial and error that you can train as hard as your younger competition, but you must recover longer.”

Thanks so much for taking the time to share this with us.  Those few training nuggets could make all the difference this season. Aloha.

SUP Fitness Training: Got Stoke?

candice-ex1Why do we do all of those push ups? Why do we push, pull and lunge through TRX workouts and hit the gym for strength, endurance and flexibility between sessions on the water? Is it to look like Candice Appleby, on the left, as she hits the surf for some weekend waves and fun?

Candice Appleby scores photo of the day and 2014 World Series & Grand Slam event Titles in Huntington
Candice Appleby scores photo of the day and 2014 World Series & Grand Slam event Titles in Huntington

The real answer is: We workout hard and get to the water at every opportunity so that we can get the same stoke Candice enjoys again, and again and again throughout all of our decades. And – whatever our abilities. It doesn’t take many weeks of following the posts elite waterwoman and champion shares to realize that she balances  grit, focus and a fierce competitive nature with an abundance of joy, aloha, sharing and all-encompassing love for being in and on the water. We go to the gym and train hard even when it is cold, windy, less-than-stellar conditions because we want to be ready for “those days.”

Fun wave, new Naish Hokua, cold water, Pacific City, Oregon stoke. First wave in my 66th year.
Fun wave, new Naish Hokua, cold water, Pacific City, Oregon stoke. First wave in my 66th year.

Whatever “those days” mean to you, be sure to reflect on them when they happen. Imprint a mental image and savor the moment. When you hit the gym and notice your abs are missing their 6-pack or the scale registers 10 lbs too many, go back to the real reason you are training. What’s YOUR stoke?

chuck-fun1
Photo Credit: Chuck Patterson from Facebook

Let’s end this article with a quote from the ultimate stoke-meister, Chuck Patterson. FOLLOW him on Facebook for daily energy and inspiration, “”The one having the most fun; always wins in the end”. Always begin and end your day with a smile and your sure to get one back in return.”