On our last day of Fitcation, we were going kayaking in Morro Bay. Having recently kayaked, I felt powerful and strong when wielding a fiberglass boat, especially after debunking my fears of being too fat to fit, making it sink, etc. I pretty much went into kayaking with the “Heck yes! I can do this!” attitude, which usually serves me pretty well.
As we pulled up to Kayak Horizons, I noticed nerves fluttering around many of the other bloggers. By the time life jackets were handed out, I realized half of our group was heading towards a bar! I was disappointed but realized that water isn’t for everyone, with the addition of water in a chilly bay. I have only kayaked in lakes before, so I knew that it would be a more difficult ride out in the ocean.
I was honored to be asked to partner with Meagan, a lovely mom from North Carolina. She picked me because of my previous kayaking prowess and I could tell she was hopeful that my skills would make me a natural kayak partner. We got into our kayak and began attempting to paddle off. I noticed immediately that I had WAY underestimated how much more difficult ocean water is to paddle in. We had a rough current pushing us the opposite direction and despite our attempts to get in sync, we were floundering. I was kind of embarrassed that I had been so confident in my kayaking skills because at this point, I was no better than a newbie kayaker. Luckily though, Meagan is kind and has a sense of humor. After about an hour of frustrated paddling and at one point even bumping into the buoy of a stationary boat (whoopsies!), we finally got on track and made it across the bay to a little island.
As we were pulling on to the island, it dawned us. Why had it been SO DAMN HARD for us to row that kayak? We couldn’t maneuever it well, and it took us triple the time to get across the bay as some of the other ladies in the boat. At that moment we had the shared realization of WHY it was a little more different… because the two big girls got in the same boat! Oh. DUH! Hahaha! Now, when I say Meagan is big, I don’t mean she’s fat. I would never say that about her, or anyone except myself, for that matter – she’s the one who prompted it, but as we howled with laughter, we realized that yep, sure enough, the two tall, broad shouldered, mighty women got into the same kayak. And while Meagan’s recently lost over 120 pounds (WOW!), I know that I was responsible for some extra junk in the trunk that made us row a little bit harder. (It all works out. More weight = more cardio = more rowing = stronger arms?)
After we cheekily explained our situation to others, several volunteered to switch with us to lighten our load. Though the idea of an easier ride back was tempting, Meagan and I had a flash of inspiration. We would finish what we started. We wouldn’t give up. NO WAY would we give up! Big, strong women are exactly that – big and strong. We didn’t need to lighten our load. This weight and heft, though cumbersome, was ours, and we would rock it. We got back into our kayaks with a renewed sense of vigor, and sure enough, the paddle back wasn’t nearly as hard as anticipated. Though the opposing current helped with that, I like to think that somewhere, as attitudes lighten and positivity prevails, things get a little easier all around. This story makes me smile when I think about it, because it was the one weight related hurdle I faced at Fitcation. Going to Fitcation, I was nervous that I’d be the only big girl, that I’d be out of shape on our hikes, etc – but I felt great and kept up with the pack just fine, and my body shape and size wasn’t an issue. While my kayak experience was a little more “heavy” than the rest of the trip, I think this story serves as a fine reminder of why this journey isn’t going to be so much about the destination for me, but enjoying the ride.
It always goes back to attitude. I may not be happy with the body I have now, but it’s capable and strong. With the right attitude, I know that I’ll eventually get where I want to be, and even if I feel like I’m sinking, I need to just keep paddling.