I broke one of the the most important rules of Stand Up Paddle and didn’t cover my head after a fall. I now have a black eye and a swollen temple to show for it. I’m not alone though, in the bruise department. Most of the ladies I SUP with have taken a knock or two. We could publish a pretty sizey bruise album.
Recently, the onshore has been relentless. It’s been blowing the mif into Muizenberg for three weeks, so in desperation, at the first whiff of a North Wester, I went out. I won’t lie. I was in two minds, the waves were lumpy and there were double ups. The wind was sending spray heavenward, which is actually a little hint for a stand up paddler that it miiiight be a bit windy. Maybe. Just a tad.
But I was sweaty in my wetsuit so I thought I might as well cool off. I didn’t manage a dry hair paddle out, which is ALWAYS what I’m going for, and as I bailed (Surfers. No judgies here. You can’t duck dive a SUP) I thought to myself, take it like a man. And then I realized the error of my ways. Or the error of the voice in my head’s ways? If I’m proud to run, catch, surf and paddle like a girl, then why would I say THAT? Why didn’t I say take it like a girl? Or, as my favorite feminists would correct me, say take it like a woman?
After all, we push out babies. We endure periods. We have to fight hard to break through all those glass ceilings at work and in society. We juggle motherhood, endless laundry and careers. We take so much, so why don’t we call taking adversity what it is?
The wind was fickle, it kept taunting me with lulls between fierce gusts. But eventually the powers of nature divided and conquered. The wave energy drove me down and the wind took my board up. What goes up, must come down; and an air filled underwater vessel (like my thorax) must resurface. Ideally it should not have been simultaneous.
But ladies, girls, women, wahines, it’s really just a matter of time before you take a knock. It might be your fingers, your knee, a fin chop, or a whack on the head. But you already know what you are made of. You know what your fellow wahines are made of. So take it like a girl and get back out in the water. Quick. Before the next onshore steals your fun.