Have you ever just seen something and thought I NEED to try that? Despite my fear of water that was how I felt when I saw a picture of a girl on a Stand Up Paddle board (SUP) in the middle of Loch Voil. From that second, I decided that by the end of summer I would tick owning a paddle board off my bucket list. That week, on one my Excelsior Adventure events, I met a couple of girls who own SUP’s and started talking about how I should go about trying this. One of the girls had a spare board and next thing I knew by that Sunday I was squeezing into a wet suit to tackle my first day out on Loch Lomond.
We parked at Luss Pier and at this point I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Thankfully, I was not the only newbie as Holly (@bossgirlglasgow) wanted to give it a shot as well. The boards we used are inflatable SUP’s therefore require an absolute workout of pumping them up so after using almost all the upper body strength I have we took the boards out on the water. I will be honest, I was not an automatic pro…for a while I was paddling in circles but after a quick tutorial on how to actually make myself move I was flowing through the water.
This is not a review of how good the board was, what the best location for a SUP adventure is or how cute the wallabies on Inchconnachan are – this is about how this one trip changed my attitude towards the water. Now, as I mentioned earlier, I had an irrational fear of being in water. Mainly just water that I couldn’t see the bottom. I hated the idea of not knowing what else is in there with me! As you can imagine, one of my main focuses on this trip was staying on my board but the lovely @supglasgow had other ideas. As he was generously and patiently taking his time to show me what to do his board collided into the back of mine. This tiny little bump to the rear of my SUP sent me jolting forward to then fall down onto my bottom and plop off the side of my board. RIGHT. INTO. THE LOCH! Quicker than you can say ‘pike’ I was back on my board but it was too late. I had been in. Nothing had eaten me. The band-aid was off and the first fall was over, it really wasn’t that bad…
Fast forward 7 days and I decided to try push myself a wee bit further, I had enjoyed being on the water on a SUP, I wondered how I would do on a wake-board. Before I knew it, I was floating in the middle of Loch Lomond without a care in the world waiting to be pulled along behind a speedboat. 9 days after that I went surfing. I was sat on the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean laughing at the Jen who used to cry if seaweed touched her. Most people catch fish in the water, I had caught a bug. I realise how much I had been missing out on by being scared of the unknown. I was holding myself back from all the incredible experiences because of a very unexplainable fear.
Today, I jumped off my paddle board into the middle of Loch Lomond BY CHOICE. It was 30 degrees, and I just went for it. Straight into a deep, dark loch. I’m not saying that my anxieties about the unknown of the water are gone but I am just no longer listening to them and letting them dictate my actions. I think this has been such a huge lesson for me in the sense that you really have to push yourself out of your comfort zone to really enjoy the most adventurous and exciting life possible. Why play it safe?
I didn’t get over my fear THEN enjoy the water, I got over my fear BY enjoying the water.
P.S Check out my beautiful Fatsticks SUP that I bought – that is one thing ticked off my summer bucket list – next up ‘jumping off a rope swing’!!
We here at Excelsior Adventures look to provide enjoyable, educational and uplifting experiences shared with like minded individuals through organising Hiking Adventures promoted throughout Scotland. We are creating a vision that emphasizes on excelling at outdoor activities which will strengthen your mind, body and soul. If you want to get involved click HERE for more information.
PHOTOS BY: @supglasgow