“Fall seven times and stand up eight times”
I have tried it once before but only managed to throw myself in more times than I care to remember. After my first 4 hour session up the Llangollen canal, I ached for ages after from kneeling the whole way!
To be honest, it’s a sport I’m not that fussed about ( so I’d thought).
SUP at Pentwyn Reservoir
From the centre, we took a scenic stroll down to the reservoir. I think it’s great how all of the activities are in easy distance to the centre. I was memorised by the view. Calm waters reflected the surrounding stunning scenery including Pen Y Fan. We all stopped for a moment to admire and take a few pictures (as bloggers do).
Centre manager Mike began to show us how to hold the paddles and then prompted us to get on to the group board. Like Noah’s ark, we assembled in a two by two sequence and carefully tread in to the slippery edges of the reservoir. The water was cold but not as cold as gorge walking earlier! Once in and kneeling on the board, we practised various paddles before being told to ‘casually’ stand up in our pairs and paddle.
I clung on tight to Rik’s buoyancy aid and made my way to my feet (he’ll never pair with me again he said)! Standing on a group board is much easier for your balance although I was still so shaky ( I nearly pushed Rik in)!
Two by two, the group stood up and we paddled out further into the reservoir. This felt scarily – good.
Then Mike decided to make it a little more ‘fun.’ He instructed us to hold on to our partner’s buoyancy aids whilst he ‘casually’ walked around the board. Pulling each one further off balance.
It was inevitable – SPLASH!
Once I was in the water and I realised there was no bottom, butterflies began to flutter but everyone was having so much fun that I soon forgot about my water phobia. The fun and games continued on the group board and we were then split into groups. My group got to have a go on our own SUP boards. Lying flat first, we paddled with our arms (a bit like surfing). Once we felt confident, we’d kneel and then take the plunge to stand up.
I’d laughed and doubted activities manager Owen (sorry) when he’d said in the beginning ‘we’ll get you standing up!’
Now here I was attempting a stand. There was nothing but me, the board and water. I’d given up on the thought of not going for a swim. It’s such a weird feeling standing on something that’s floating. It felt like being on a skate board…
SUP is all about core (which needs work if I’m honest). I followed Owen’s clear instructions and took the plunge.
I WAS STANDING!
It felt amazing for 5 minutes or so until I threw myself in face first but it didn’t matter. That was it, I was game for more. We swapped on to the bigger group board with Tony and we performed a few tricks such as spinning the board and this…
What more could you want?!
By far, this was my favourite activity in terms of team building and developing skills. The instructors really made the session come to life. Between me and you, I would have loved more time on the board by myself.
On a personal note… I have never been an over or under achiever. I’m always just OK – average – I get by. When I discovered the outdoors, that used to bother me more especially when everyone around me was faster and more skilled at ‘doing stuff’.
I think after this weekend with Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer and being with such supportive and fun people – I am perfectly fine about being OK. I’ve to come to realise that it really isn’t a competition. It’s OK to take your time and learn at your own pace.
And when you realise that, it makes the accomplishment that bit sweeter.
Meet the bloggers:
Cerys from Mascara and Mud
Jenni from The Thrifty Magpies Nest
Laura from: LTFactor
Ali from We Made This Life
Harriet from: An Outdoor Lifestyle Blog
I’d just like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone involved over the weekend – you’ve ignited my love for the outdoors even more and I’m looking forward to coming back in the spring time!
Disclaimer: all views, smiles, and shrieks are my own