I recently wrote about renting electric bikes at the beach. The same little shop rents paddle boards, which hub tried a couple of days ago. He's been wanting to attempt paddleboarding for quite some time. He kayaked rapids in his younger years, so I had no doubt he could master it. However, the day he picked to begin wasn't ideal. There were yellow and purple flags flying, which meant the waters were choppy and marine life had been spotted. My little Aquaman was not deterred. He rented the board and a paddle with the assistance of an extremely helpful gentleman at the YOLO store. He sat and surveyed the waves for a minute, and off he went into the gulf. I crossed myself and threw up a prayer, for there was no stopping him.

Now we'd already discussed how far was too far for his first try. We agreed on a safe distance, but I should've known better. My daredevil of a husband likes to push the envelope and the word 'beginner' means nothing to him, but I adore his sense of adventure. He'd asked if I wanted to try. I'd answered, "You've got to be kidding". I explained I would love to attempt it when we visited a glassy calm lake. I'd planned on getting back home from this trip, thank you very much. My track record with instruction retainment wasn't so hot either. (see 'our happy place' blog)

One of the hardest parts seemed to be getting past the place where the waves crashed towards the shore. It was definitely a "one step forward and two steps back" rowing process. He got off the board and walked it past the white foamy line and climbed back on. Then he took off. Help me Jesus.

He was way out past the second sandbar getting shakily to his feet, and I was helpless on the shore doing breathing exercises and taking pictures. He got up a few times, but the gulf was just too rough for a beginner. He settled on a position on his knees, then began exploring the salty waters.

He saw dolphins. He saw a jellyfish. That creature alone would've taken my nerves over the edge. I've always had a healthy respect for salt water inhabitants. That's their home. They didn't invite me to come hang out. Any biting pinching or stinging is completely reasonable. I prefer to be in a boat a little higher off the water to see them. Call me crazy.

I tried to resume my reading, but I couldn't take my eyes off the small spec he'd become. What if something tragic happened and the lifeguard didn't see it? I was resolved to be his advocate. Lord knows I couldn't have saved him way out there, but I could scream my head off to alert someone that possibly could. After what seemed like hours, he paddled in. He'd lost a pair of sunglasses, had cuts on his foot and his finger, but was overall unscathed. He caught his breath for a bit, and went out again. I relaxed a little on his second run. I actually enjoyed watching him. I might've fallen a tad more in love with him, if that's even possible.

YOLO is named after the phrase, "You only live once." How appropriate. Trying new things may be somewhat scary at first, but exhilarating as well. It also keeps you from getting stuck in your ways. I'm not suggesting everyone jump on a paddleboard on rough waters, but choose something a little out of your comfort zone and give it a whirl. Learn to play an instrument. Take a painting class. Order something different at a restaurant. (that one can be a challenge for my Aquaman) Go zip lining or rafting. Whatever intrigues you, give it a go! If you're a daredevil like hub, please take someone with you that can scream very loudly, just in case. At the least you'll have them to document your achievement. You only live once, after all!

What new experiences have you tried lately? What's on your bucket list?

Share it and I promise I'll give words of admiration. YOLO!

Surveying the waves...

paddling out...

This was not as far as he went out, but this was the best pic I took on full zoom. Can you spot him?

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