First things first. The bikini that has been written about a few times on this blog made an appearance publicly today. I survived and enjoyed feeling of the sun on so much skin. There really isn't anything like feeling self-confident in one's body. Thank you, 40th birthday and daily yoga and a new running routine, for ushering this new sense of self into my existence.
Okay, on to the commentary about checking off another item from the list. Well, as is becoming habit from working my way through this list, I've found another activity that will become a go-to thing I do when I want some peace, some sunshine and some light physical exertion. Tennis, running, and now kayaking. It turns out I like being physically active far more than I knew. I just hadn't found the right activities until now.
My girl scout mom friend, Kristina, and I met at Creve Coeur Lake. It is a great splash of nature ridiculously close to our homes. I, for one, do not access it enough. Today's time on the water will change that.
Since we didn't want to risk ruining our phones in the water, we took a few photos of our amazing environs, put the phones back in the car, and hit the line for rentals. Kristina graciously paid my rental fee as a birthday present. We were handed paddles and life jackets (which we were allowed to sit on) and each picked a single canoe. We hit the water with excited energy. We paddled out a ways talking the entire time, catching up from our summer absences from each other.
We both reflected what a great blend of exercise, meditation, and change of scenery the kayaking was and for such an affordable price ($10 per kayak per hour.) We paddled away from the shore for a while in one direction. Two canoes full of lovely-looking men passed us. We enjoyed the view, and changed direction for awhile. We tried to go further away from the shore, but the wind was now working against us, so we opted to just float and talk for awhile. We soaked in the sun, and enjoyed each others company. We talked about aspects of parenting our girls, how important self-confidence is to every pursuit—professional and personal, and luxuriated in the shining sun and gentle rocking of the water.
We enjoyed watching a brother-sister team not much older than our girls maneuver their way through the water in a double kayak. “You're doing great! Keep up the great work!” I cheered the duo on. We commented on how impressed we were with their skill and remarked that we believed our daughters could do as well.
A few years ago, I took a yoga class on the water using a stand up paddle board. It revolutionized this book worm's life. I loved being in nature and being on the water without the pressure of having to get in the water. Since then, I've heard my Nissan Pathfinder whispering to me, “Mama, I'd really like to carry a kayak on the roof. Will you please buy us one?”
I'm not ready to commit to the purchase, but at $10 an hour, I am definitely up for adding kayaking to my weekend menu of activity options.
There was such peace on the water. We had so much to look at and enjoy. There were at least a dozen sailboats on the water and others kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding. It felt so good to dunk my feet in the water, to paddle for awhile, and then rest, and breathe in the moment. It was really good to be untethered from my dang phone, which I let myself check far too often than is necessary. Unplugging is a good thing. I must do it more often on land and water.
It was just what I needed today, and I was so happy to share it with Kristina.
I took a walk around the lake when we finished our hour's rental. It was really good to feel the sticky sunscreen on my skin, to work up a sweat during my walk and just appreciate a healthy body in a sunny place. Another good day, to be sure.