Paddling for Posers

Yes, vacation is for relaxing, eating, and drinking. But I am way too neurotic to let all that time off have me return to reality a slovenly, bloated pig.  Especially when on a tropical beach get away NO ONE wants to see me pounding Mai Thais and crushing french fries, beached like a whale in a Brazilian bikini.  Thus while on my trip to Maui I was on an everyday race to find some kind of physical calorie burn to validate the bottle of rosé I was going to pound that afternoon. When the boys decided to rent paddle boards for the week, I was ready for this to be my fitness challenge. I had tried surfing once unsuccessfully and have not been the MVP on any canoe or a kayak trip.  But I was convinced paddle boarding was going to be my ocean calling. With all the girls cruising around the San Diego bay looking so effortlessly cute and in control, I thought, "Hey, that can be me!"

 This picture is a LIE!!! Unless her right hand can palm a watermelon and she has the strength of Iron Man.  

This picture is a LIE!!! Unless her right hand can palm a watermelon and she has the strength of Iron Man.  

So here is the reality I was greeted with; The board is heavy and awkward as hell to carry.  Getting it into the water with moving ocean waves looks like your in a losing match wrestling against an alligator.  To add to that already arduous task, waves are not kind to string bikinis.  

 Here's how i thought i looked

Here's how i thought i looked

Finding my balance on the water took a couple of spills and nip slips, but after burning enough calories for a poke bowl and a sake bomb from continually pulling myself back on the board I was able to stand long enough to gain my bearings and actually begin paddling.  Once you hit your flow it feels at times like you are just cruising, but don't get it twisted.  You are working and toning the whole time (especially if your in choppier water or find yourself getting pulled in the wrong direction). First, It feels like you're in a continual sucking in and flexing of your abs (and this is not just cause your in a bikini!). Second, the stability your using in your legs is coming from pulling inward with your inner thigh area which is like clenching your butt cheeks and doing a Kegal all at the same time (I am convinced this action helps develop the enviable thigh gap of most super models).  Third, paddling is great for toning of the triceps, shoulders and obliques which means Madonna toned arms, with Jessica Biel shoulders and Karlie Kloss abs.                         

Here's what i really looked like... Clearly I've got lots of work and improvement to do.  But I'm hooked! Perhaps I'll give it a go in the shark infested waters of the La Jolla Cove or maybe I'll take up the challenge of Stand up Paddle Yoga in the colder waters of Mission Bay. Ok, let's not get too carried away...Until then check out these two adorable little groms...   

-Tuyen