Category Archives: sports

Stand-up paddling!

My name is Tolly, and I have never been naturally athletic.

Active — yes. Gym-attending — yes. Exercise-performing — yes.
But agile and competitive and skillful? Not so much. I tried a lot of sports growing up, and finally settled on dance team. Which isn’t really a sport. 
Also? I slip on things, such as the ground. This happened twice on Saturday while walking down to the greenbelt.  I think it’s because I get caught up in conversations with people, and forget to focus on the task at-hand. In this case, my friend and I were debating the merits of Madonna’s Ray of Light album.
Me: “I would be willing to revisit Ray of Light, but I just don’t think it’s the JAM that Like a Prayer is.”
My friend: “But what about that great music video from Ray of — Ray — er, TOLLY?”
(conversation ceases while I fall backwards)
Me: (whimper)
My friend: “Are you ok?”
Me: “I am carrying too many things and it’s throwing off MY BALANCE.”
My friend: “Oh.” 
Me: “Here, take this towel, that way I’ll be more evened out.”
The laws of physics now applied to the situation, we continued our walk, and MY BALANCE seemed to be doing just fine. Until five minutes later that is, after we had moved onto Lady Gaga, and MY BALANCE decided to land me on my ass again.

But I do think it’s important to note that this kind of thing always happens to me on land. On water people, it is a different story.

Take stand-up paddling, which I tried for the very first time on Friday evening. Will Mills, editor of the soon-to-be-launched Outdoor Adventure Mag, set up a little demo for a handful of friends at Rowing Dock, where Austin Paddle Sports is located.

Now if you’re anything like me, you’ve always idolized those people down below on Town Lake, enjoying themselves and laughing in the sun, while you almost die on Lamar bridge, dodging stressed-out and angry motorists.

But stand-up paddling enables you to be ONE of those people. The ones not caring about road rage because they are in the water, happily rowing along!

Our little group had two instructors, Reid and “Kahuna,” whose real name I believe is Chris. There were about eight of us, and they taught us how to get on our board, stand up, manage our paddles, and not fall off.

I failed to bring a camera that day. So, you’ll just have to imagine that these two people were in our group.

This picture actually comes from Austin Paddle Sports’ website, which you should definitely visit if you’ve been curious about stand-up paddling. Our instructors were so cool and nice, doing a good job of both teaching the group, and hanging out one-on-one with people for some individual attention. Lessons are $20/hr, and after you have one lesson, you’re pretty much ready to go. Each board rental after that is $15/hr.

Overall, I have to say that stand-up paddling is not nearly as challenging as I thought it would be!  Maybe because MY BALANCE performs a lot better on water.

 I had so much fun on Friday that I went back yesterday. Here are some pictures I took.

Kind of like with kombucha, and that fact that I want to coerce all of you to make it so we can share mothers, I also want to convince everyone to try stand-up paddling so I’ll have some buddies to go with. Chris Apollo from Republic of Austin, Adi from Mind of Adi fame, Dan Gentile, editor of Thrillist Austin, and the cute girls from SeeSaw Austin are all expert stand-up paddlers now, and I will seriously probably go again this week.

Which is crazy!  I never get this pumped about recreational sports.

who wants to try it?