Paddling For A Cause

This morning I ventured out in the driving rain and headed off to Palm Beach. I was planning on participating in a paddle session, named Paddle for Pete, which was organised to provide support for a local surfer who had broken his neck over Easter weekend.

On the 40 minute drive I was wondering to myself – would there be a handful of stalwarts on hand for the paddle? Arriving at Pittwater I was blown away – both literally as the wind was up, and figuratively, as there were hundreds of paddlers on hand. All shapes and sizes, from surf boards through skis, SUPs through surfboards — all eager to show their support.

It was a tough paddle – my stand up board is a 10.6, which is great in the surf and as a hybrid on short flat water runs, but when the chop is up it gets very, very tricky. I was most stoked to not only finish the 5km course, but do it without falling in or having to revert to kneeling.

This video from Sean Smith, aka the Fatpaddler really sums up the paddle. I feature near the start of the paddle, but it’s the later sections where you can clearly see the level of chop on the water — great coverage!

Here’s hoping Pete makes a quick recovery.

Push Your Horizons: Walk on Water

This video of a group of ultra athletes exploring the boundaries of what we can do as humans is very inspiring!

I love some of their comments at the end of the video :-

* “don’t get boxed in”

* “push your horizons further”

Shaping Up: Top Tips For Getting And Staying There

I won’t profess to being at the top of my fitness game at present, but as a former professional lifeguard, lifelong surfer and record-breaking athlete I’ve both been there and aspire to be again.

So this morning, five minutes before going for a jog, I was overjoyed and enthused to read Loic Le Meur’s post on 13 tips for geeks to get in shape.

Like Loic I have used a Garmin Forerunner 305 – an awesome device for measuring and pushing your performance. I also believe in the power of music to inspire you and like to mountain bike with a pair of Oakley Thumps blasting U2 into my brain – geeks, this is off-road only and sure you can get that from an iPod too, but when you need to uncouple from your bike at high speed…the less cords around the better!

For me one of the most important aspects of getting going on the road to being in shape is to rip yourself out of your comfort zone. OK, so for me that meant moving half way around the world from Sydney to Palo Alto and moving into an unfurnished cottage.

No need to be so extreme, simply break from your current routines. Had a heavy day at the office and feel entitled to that beer or glass of wine to help you unwind. Bullshit! Get out your running shoes and burn through the day’s stress.

As I mentioned already, music can be a big influencing factor and another serial entrepreneur/venture person who is doing some great stuff in this area is Heidi Roizen. She used to run a billion dollar venture fund, but these days she is the founder of SkinnySongs, a startup that is helping women to lose weight through listening to motivational songs she writes herself.

Whatever you do to start down or keep on the shaping up path, be assured that doing so will lift your sense of well being and make you more effective at, well…everything.

Go to it!