BACK TO MUSIC
I love SUP for so many reasons. It has brought me so much health – both mental and physical – and happiness. Before the pandemic I was considering going back to music therapy. I was also considering offering stand up paddleboarding lessons and tours. I’d taught piano and guitar lessons for many years and thought it would be wonderful to get outside and share something I love and do all the time. I thought it would be simple, as music lessons had been. I was wrong. And fate stepped in and brought me the perfect opportunity to pivot my aspiration.
As a music therapy student senior year, you must choose the population you will devote over 900 hours interning (learning how and working for free) with. As a single mother I chose preschoolers with disabilities. The site was walking distance from my apartment and I was good (still am!) with kids. This was not my first choice, but the best choice for my circumstance. I worked in the preschool/elementary school space after graduating and although skilled, was unhappy. I ran my own business for a number of years. Then after my son was born I took the opportunity to enjoy learning and experiencing arts I never had time to explore.
I fell in love with photography. And jewelry making. And cake decorating. I painted a few watercolors. And in more recent years I’ve explored and researched how sound and sound healing instruments affect our mind, body and spirit. I’ve also delved into more mystical arts like tarot, nde’s, life between lives, past life regression, astrology, numerology, Abraham-hicks, and how our thoughts create our reality. I enjoy learning what is scientifically proven, what is pseudo-science, and what works for me – which happens to be somewhere in between.
I was trained to facilitate drum circles – a favorite memory from my college years – and learned about the use of tuning forks. The very large crystal sound bowl I’d had for over 20 years broke and I got a full set of crystal bowls in its place. I learned that if I have a migraine headache and put my head over the largest bowl allowing the sound to resonate in and around my head, the headache goes away. I learned that if I use the body tuning forks on my head, the perfect 5th interval, my posture aligns immediately, whether I’m thinking about it or not. Every time. I have an interest in learning that has not abated in my 50 years on the planet. I’ve learned some stuff. I continue to learn each day. And I think it is time to share some of that knowledge, in the hopes that maybe someone somewhere can benefit without doing all the research I have. Also maybe have some fun and chill time while doing so.
All this to say – I’m back baby! (said in the voice of George Costanza from Seinfeld)
HOW I STARTED SUPing
It’s been so many years now since that first paddle. Local place charged 20 bucks to take a board out on the creek. It weighed like 50 pounds. A big ol’ Bic SUP. A tank. I couldn’t really lift it. Kid gave me a heavy plastic paddle, a pfd and put the board on the water for me. ‘Be back in an hour.’ Not sure if I took that long. Not sure I even wore a leash. I paddled down to a small ‘island’ in that marsh and back. Such a short distance by today’s standards! I still think of it when I’m in that creek now. Balancing wasn’t hard, probably b/c the board was so gigantic and I’m small – back then (2013) I was heavier than I am now too. All I remember from that first time is how when I got home that afternoon I napped the deepest most restorative sleep ever. There’s something to this, I thought. I wanted to try again. I did go again once later that year. The following year I went again a couple of times – my SIL got a board by then that could go on the ocean. What a disaster – I knew nothing about board type and size and how to balance, and was trying to stand up on a much smaller board with ocean waves along my side – of course I fell in! It didn’t help that a couple in the water nearby kept laughing at me. Rude. No matter. We took it on the bay side and that was great. The following Spring I got my first board for my birthday, and I was off to the races! (so to speak). I learned all I could from researching technique online, and when I took a workshop the following year, I got feedback that I knew what I was doing! I also got to try racing and realized it was not for me. I didn’t like the feeling of pressure to go fast and people splashing all around me. I did well, but it wasn’t fun for me. I did, however, push myself from that point on and try to better my speed using a tracking app. I got quite fast but ended up injuring my shoulder to the point of being unable to lift my arm in 2019. Then I learned all about technique to protect your shoulders and why having a carbon fiber paddle without give, a longer paddle length, pushing down the paddle with my hand above shoulder height all contributed to my injury. I have learned so much since that first time, and decided in 2021 to start a business so that I could share it with others to save them the trouble. But that story is for another time…
WHY I LOVE PADDLING ON MY OWN
I notice that I notice so much more when I’m out there alone. When I’m with a friend or group, I am interacting with the people I’m with. Yes, they absolutely add to the experience – noticing things I may not, sharing their perspective and viewpoint and having someone to validate my own experience and increasing the level of fun. Just like in life.
But when it’s just me, I have the full use of all my senses – no one there to distract me from the giant fish that went by, or the swan’s nest as I quietly sit leaving them undisturbed-one human able to fade into the background. I can take a moment to feel the breeze on my skin, the sense of the wind in my hair, the sound of the water as it trickles out of the craggy shoreline of the marsh, the smell of lilacs in the air. (I experienced all these on the water this past week.) I can work on my stroke. Or not. I can sit. Lay down even. Do some yoga. My own pace, no requirement to keep up or slow down for anyone else. I get to give my body what it needs. I get to give my mind what it needs. When you get down to it, stand up paddle boarding is a solitary sport. We can share it with others and that is really fun. It is fun to share the adventure of a new spot with someone, not knowing what you’ll find around the next bend. Will we see some cool wildlife? (otter? oyster catcher? deer eating by the shore? giant bass swimming by? sea robin?) Sharing it is so exciting: did you see that? Whoa. A witness to your experience. It is not better or worse, only different.
I am here to show you the way. I am here to give you the tools you need. I am here to show you how easy and rewarding stand up paddling can be. All my attention is on you. Your needs. Your wants. Your comfort. I have a great deal of knowledge and information to share. And caring and kindness too. My intention is that you gain the skills and see how easy and worthwhile it is. And maybe we’ll get lucky and see some cool shit while we’re out there. One person at a time.
PADDLE WITH A PURPOSE
Fun. Fitness. Health. Connection. Moving Meditation. Reset. Relax. Recharge.
Stand Up Paddleboarding has a massive list of benefits. It operates on every level of holistic health and wellness. It improves your body, engages your mind and nurtures your spirit with time spent on the water in a natural environment. You can read about benefits here: http://kathypasca.com/?page_id=459
Standup Paddle Boarding is so much more than a fun activity for an hour. You gain confidence and a feeling of accomplishment from trying something new, perhaps overcoming a common fear of deep water or falling in, and simply being successful.
Life is Good! It’s even better with Paddling!