All the talk of New Year resolutions can detract from the joy of finding a new activity you end up loving to do. We’re chatting to FINDRA customers who’ve taken up a new sport and are thriving in it. Today, we chat to Sharon Griffin who’s taken up paddleboarding.
Hey Sharon, great to meet you! We hear you’re just starting out trying paddleboarding; how did that come about?
We have friends who have paddle boards and occasionally posted pictures on social media. After seeing some pictures I thought it looked quite a relaxing activity and I’d mentioned to my partner that I could fancy trying it out. He surprised me by buying me a voucher for Christmas to have a lesson!
So your partner knew you were keen to try it before he bought you the voucher?
Yes, the voucher he bought could have been used for paddle boarding or kayaking but I was really keen to try the paddle boarding. We’d spent a week in the Lakes in July in the glorious sunshine at Lake Coniston where people were hiring paddle boards, it might have been the hot weather but it made me want to try it even more.
Were you a particularly active person before this?
Yes, my partner and I regularly go mountain biking, we love to appreciate the countryside from high up and seeing views and wildlife that cannot be viewed from a roadside. We also really enjoy the feeling of achievement when reaching the top of a climb.
What is it about paddleboarding you enjoy so much? Is it good for the mind and body?
I find nothing better than paddle boarding on a quiet river or lake, the world quietens with only the sound of the paddle in the water, I seem to totally relax and can feel the stresses ebb away. I do believe it’s good for the mind and body, I’m always quite surprised how my shoulders and thighs ache with the activity as at the time I’m so relaxed it doesn’t feel like a workout.
What was the scariest part of trying out a new activity?
The lesson we had was in the sea at Cullercoats, although it was a calm day on the sea, there were still little waves to contend with. The scariest part for me was that I wouldn’t find it as enjoyable as it looked, I was worried about going out too far and not being able to control the board but my fears were quickly alleviated as the instructor was so very good and was really good at forming a bond with his students quickly. I enjoy paddling both in the sea and on rivers/lakes; they both have their own qualities from the challenge of staying on the board in the swell of the sea or the relaxation of touring a lake or river and revelling in the wildlife and scenery that surrounds me.
Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting paddleboarding?
Yes, I wish I’d tried paddle boarding earlier in the year so we could have enjoyed the lovely summer we had last year!
Thanks Sharon! I hope this summer gives you the chance to get out more!
If you’re feeling inspired, check out the British Stand Up Paddleboarding website to find out where you can give it a try yourself.