Forty One

sup-beach-view nell-hat-on-beach rock-climbing sup-selfie nell-and-kiddos 41 single-wave abc-breakfast sup bike-ride

So, this is 41. Supposedly once you’re over 40, then you’re considered “over the hill”, right? Well maybe, maybe not. In my 20’s I did consider the 40’s as being “over the hill” and I had a picture in my head of what that would look and feel like. This is not at all what I expected. Man, am I glad.  I choose to make the most of every day.  I choose to do the things that make me feel alive. So, here’s to the 40’s. Bring it on!

*A special thanks to my three favorite people; Steve, Danica and Trey.  Steve made me feel special and let me do anything I wanted all weekend while he did my chores for me.  Trey went rock climbing with me and we had the best time.  Danica gave me the best present by coming home for the weekend to hang out with me.  To each of you… thank you for being you and thank you for being amazing.  You made me feel so very special. 



Ocean Magic

board-sky-view-small ocean-selfie-small pier-water-small  stand-up-ocean-view-smallboard-in-motion-small sup-beach-view-small water-cloud-view-small

For me, paddleboading can be a purely magical experience.  This week I got to experience one of those magical moments. The water was completely flat, glassy, crystal clear and calm, the ocean was filled with beautiful sea life, the wind was calm and the moon was full.  It was perfect!  I quickly remembered just how much I love paddleboarding and how grateful I am to live in a place where I can do things like this year round.

You see, two years ago (before my mom’s accident), I was out on the water every single week without fail.  Then life flipped upside down and I just never got back into the habit.  Well, I’m taking life by the horns and I’m changing that.  Doing fun active activities makes me feel better physically and emotionally. Paddleboarding is probably at the top of that activity list for me.  It makes me feel alive! Now I’m looking to add additional activities to this list; mountain bike trail riding and indoor rock climbing.  More to come on that.  In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying more time on the ocean.

2016 :: A Restart

Vision Board

In many ways, my life was on hold in 2015.  There was the tragedy of my mom’s life and death struggle and recovery from her car accident.  My daughter graduated from high school and then moved out of our house for the first time and went to college.  My 3 year long technology project at work launched (still smoothing out the details).  My son moved to a new school and started high school.  2015 was most definitely a year on hold personally as I prepared for and worked through the tragedies and milestones of life.  While there is still much investment to do in these areas, I want to be intentional about my 2016.  I want to make up for lost time.  I want to have a vision, goals and aspirations.  This is quite a strange thought for me as I have literally never done a New Year’s resolution.  I don’t really believe in them.  Instead of putting together a resolution or multiple resolutions that you forget about within the first month of the year; I decided to make a vision/goals board that fully incorporates everything that I want to do this year.  Most are not simply do and forget goals, but things that I want to do, not only in 2016, but on an ongoing basis.  These are things that I want to make into a lifestyle.

So, here it is; my 2016.  It is going to be a year of celebration.  I turn 40, my parents turn 60, my brother turns 30, I celebrate my 20 year wedding anniversary and my brother is getting married.  How can you not celebrate with this line up?  This is a year setup for celebration.

Here is the list of 2016 visions/goals that went into building the board pictured here.  Happy 2016 to you!  Seize this year.  You never know, it could be your best year yet!

Travel – Hawaii/Costa Rica/Mexico
20 year anniversary & pics
Book teaching
Making friends
Investing in marriage
Have more fun
Smile more
Peace, joy, hope
Stillness (not busy) – letting God work
One day at a time
Invest more in 401K
Less confusing; simplify
Go to the ocean more (body board, sup, snorkel)
PMP (project management) certification

Me Day

Runner Girl Selfie Pier View Sunglasses on the Beach SUP Pier ViewSUP Beach View

Sometimes you just need a day away; a day alone to regroup, refresh and refocus.  When life gets crazy, you have to take time away from the hustle and bustle and have some “me” time.  I took a little retreat day from everyday life earlier this week and it was fabulous.  This is my ideal day…  an hour long run, two mile paddle, snorkeling the reef, laying on the beach soaking in the sunshine, a great lunch with my husband and a long afternoon nap.  My friends, it just doesn’t get any better than that.  What is your ideal day?  If you had one day to yourself to do anything you wanted, what you do?

Let’s Race!

Custom Race Board
I just picked up my custom race board from Mike at Bird Surfboards in Deerfield Beach, FL. I am one of the team riders for Bird. This board was custom built by Mike with my input along the way. I cannot wait to get it in the water and start racing. If you’re interested in trying the paddleboard race scene, let me know by filling out the form below. I can get you a great deal on a board just like this one, answer any questions you have about the sport or give you the scoop on the exercise benefits of paddleboarding.

This is a perfect starter board. Let’s race!

In the Bag

In My Bag

I got an idea to do this quick post thinking it would be something cute. Well, after looking at this picture I realize that what I carry around with me truly defines my personality; technology, beach gear and lipstick.

  • iPhone – I don’t go anywhere without it. I’m honestly surprised that it was in my bag because it is almost always glued to my hand.
  • Lipstick – CoverGirl Outlast Lip Stain. This is my favorite because it feels natural yet it lasts for hours.
  • Earphones – I keep them with me always. I love listening to music while doing everyday things like working, grocery shopping or chores.
  • Jump Drive – I carry around 32GB of total space. I work in the technology field, what can I say?
  • SD Card – There are two SD cards that belong to my DSLR floating around and one is usually in my bag. I’m ready to download pictures at any given time.
  • Swimsuit – This is an essential. I work near the ocean and I go to the beach at least 3 times per week to run, paddleboard or just hang out. I would live in it if I could.

What If?

Juming into Queens Bath Small

I once heard a speaker ask an audience the question, “what would you do if you knew that you could not fail?” Wow! I mean, if you really think deeply on this question it will blow your mind a little bit. I heard this probably over a year ago and it still sticks with me. It’s pretty easy to list out all the things you’d do (theoretically) especially if you knew that you couldn’t fail. Even knowing that failure is an option, it’s easy to list things you’d do with your life theoretically. What’s almost impossible is taking action on those items. It’s super easy to say that you’d quit your job and start a business or get rid of possessions and move to a third world country to teach the impoverished English.

I’m a dreamer by nature. I’m also a very restless person that loves change. For me, I’m always thinking of things I’d like to do differently, places I’d like to go and things I’d like to change. Being in my head would probably give you whiplash. This is why the idea of living in an RV and traveling the country with my husband in early retirement is such an appealing idea to me. I’d always be on the go and always changing seeing the country with my best friend. This is still on the table for later down the road after the kids are on their own so well see what happens.

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to list just a few of the things that I would do if I knew that I could not fail (in no particular order).

  • Run a paddleboard lessons, fitness and yoga business
  • Become a pro paddleboard racer
  • Become a math teacher
  • Sell our ridiculously expensive house and move close to the beach
  • Sell our ridiculously expensive house and move further north to have more land
  • Move to Hawaii
  • Move to Tennessee
  • Move to Colorado
  • Be a youth leader in a church

It’s fun to dream. Will any of these actually happen? Who knows; maybe one day.

New Year Resolutions Goals

2014 Goals
I’m not one to make any New Year resolutions. One of two things typically happen; I either do not keep them at all or I go the opposite direction completely defeating the purpose of the resolution in the first place. However, I do believe in goals for a new year. There is a difference. To me, a resolution is a set acheivement that you reach and then you’re done. A goal is something that is an ongoing acheivement that you want to continue to meet over and over in order to better yourself and/or your life.

The reflection on 2013 involved me not only looking at all the great things that happened in the past year, it involved really digging deep to understand what my biggest hardships and challenges were as well. One thing I learned through all of this pondering was that many times your biggest challenges can also be your biggest wins. Typically God uses your biggest challenges to mold you into the person that He wants you to be and many times will make your biggest challenge a blessing.

Only recently, did I come to a conclusion on what my goals for 2014 should be after all of this reflection. Here they are.

  1. Be intentional about growing spiritually. This means setting aside the time to spend with God as well as continually reading and learning. I have already finished one book and have several more already on order.
  2. How happy you are in your life is all dependent upon your perspective. My goal is to focus on the positive, be joyful, pray throughout each day and give thanks in all circumstances. God has me where I am for a reason and fighting Him will only bring me distress. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
  3. I have a type A personality. I am also a strong big picture, planner. This means that I am wired to look toward the future. This is a good quality to have but it often keeps me in the future and doesn’t allow me to enjoy the present. My goal is to simply enjoy the day that I’m in; to live each day that I’m given to the very fullest.
  4. In the past 10 years I have considered myself to be a workout freak almost to the point of my own detriment. 2013 really changed things for me. I’m pretty sure that it’s due to the fact that I’m getting older but I simply just don’t want to do workouts that I don’t enjoy. I regularly lifted weights, but I quit doing cardio consistently this past summer. My goal this new year is to find cardio that I really enjoy doing and do it regularly. So far, this has been running on the beach. We’ll see how that goes and what other fitness items I may find along the way.

Find Your Workout Sweet Spot

Weight Lifting for ExercisePaddleboarding for Exercise
Ever since I had my last baby over 13 years ago (man, I’m old), I’ve been big on exercising. Saying that I have been big on exercising is a drastic understatement. I’m pretty sure I had a problem.  I definitely over exercised.  I was obsessed and there was no end in sight.  I have been known to make a new year’s resolution to not exercise as much. The last time I did that, I ended up training for and running my first full marathon. The bottom line…I was miserable. To my surprise this past summer, everything changed.

My kids are now both teenagers and this past summer they ended up spending an entire month with my parents in California. This gave my husband and I a whole lot of time to just simply enjoy life. During this time is when everything seemed to shift for me in regards to exercising. My perspective and focus completely changed. Instead of just exercising for the sake of exercising, I learned a very important lesson; only do workouts that you enjoy doing.

It’s this simple; do exercises and activities that you truly love and enjoy doing. Wow, who would have thought? If you stick to this motto, then you’ll stick to exercising. Period. It’s taken me months to get consistent with my workouts again, but I’m finally there. I’m truly pursing what I love and I’m happier than ever and feel better than ever.

For me, that is weight training and paddle boarding.  For you, that probably looks totally different and that’s ok. It’s more than ok. It;s great! Pursue your exercise passions and you’ll find true happiness in your workout life. The added bonus…you’ll feel better than ever! Get out there and do what you love.

Back to Racing

Paddleboard Lineup 560 Paddling into Shore 560
{I’m the one in the black & white Kauai hat}

I absolutely love paddleboarding. I mean, it really is my favorite (solitary) thing to do. A couple of years ago, I got into racing, but racing with a surfboard style board is pointless. You simply can’t keep up. This past summer I ran into a local board company (Bird Surfboards) owner who was looking to get into the SUP racing market and asked if I would be interested in starting a racing team for him. Of course I immediately said YES!

Well, I’ve been practicing on a race board now for a few months but it’s mainly been on flat water. This board is streamlined and fast which is awesome, but the downside is that the rounded hull makes it very topsy turvy and difficult to manage especially in choppy water. An open water Quicksilver race came to my local area this past weekend. I was reluctant to sign up because I hadn’t had much open water practice, but I did it anyway. Well, I was right. The water was fairly flat but still somewhat choppy. Not to toot my own horn here, but I never fall off my board. Well, I fell off my board 5 times during this 5K ! I was furious with myself; furious to the point of tears. But, hearing my husbands voice toward the middle of the race cheering me on (I didn’t expect him to come) made all the difference. I pushed on and finished with a 33:51 time, landing me in 4th place. Not too bad for a girl that fell 5 times.

Now off to more open water practice…