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Yep. That’s me on my dad’s SUP (that’s Stand Up Paddle-board to those of you who haven’t been swallowed up by the craze – yet). That’s also me pretending that I’m in Hawaii (don’t ask about the fact that I couldn’t be at my amazing friend’s Honolulu wedding this past weekend – seriously).
Something really weird happens to me when we go camping. I suddenly become fairly ‘sporty’. Almost by accident. I know. It’s weird. All the things I can’t be bothered (*gasp*) doing at home, suddenly become fun and exciting while we’re away! I suppose it’s the fact that I don’t have the same responsibilities and routines on holiday. My time feels nicely freed up and the excuses about being too time poor to exercise or get out on the water melt away. Also, despite living on some stunning waterways, I guess it can sometimes be easy to take them for granted at home, but the novelty of being away makes it so much more appealing. Which I realise is kind of nuts, because we have an almost identical looking estuary system and sickeningly gorgeous beaches literally a few minutes’ walk from our place. Yeah. I know.
While we were away, I thought nothing of paddle-boarding and kayaking. All in one morning. The conditions were beautiful and I didn’t hesitate to paddle far and wide (go little arms go!). I realised that I really need to embrace that spirit more at home. Not only is the exercise obviously great for me, but so is the water.
It brought me so much joy to see how much the Little Mister loves his beach time too! He would beg to go each morning and to see him splashing around in the shallows, clutching his beloved plastic green watering can and helping Mr Unprepared to build sandcastles (or more like mud castles) was so awesome.
I don’t know how he saw anything from under that cute hat of his, but he had a ball! I’ve always dreamed of having a child who would love the water as much as I do. It was so different from last year’s trip, because he’s become old enough to hold his own in the shallows, more confident in the water and he just understands so much more how to play in it.
We spent several mornings soaking ourselves, because it was uncharacteristically hot. Last year we had spent ages escaping the biting breeze and the showers, but this time it was all about avoiding heat stroke!
After a while, it became second nature to practically bathe in sunscreen (as opposed to casually slapping it on like we are used to doing – please always do it – I beg you). I bought the Little Mister some polarised sunnies that were on sale in the charming little sports shop (he’s always had UV proof approved ones but polarised seemed great for him to avoid the glare of the water), and some green zinc to add to the experience. He loved drawing it on himself and each day he looked like The Hulk but it was worth it for my peace of mind that his little nose was safe from sunburn!
My parents bought a little life jacket for him last year and we’ve got some good wear out of it, as it takes a child of up to 25kg. It was great when we paddled out further with him in a kayak or on the paddle board. We knew he’d be OK for a moment if he took a little tumble.
Something I’ve really taken from this year’s holiday is that I need to keep the exercise momentum up. It helped to break a really unmotivated phase I was going through before we went away. I need to remember how to holiday at home and how good it feels to get active. Being on the water never feels like hard exercise to me (even when the conditions are challenging I enjoy the work). It’s definitely something I should embrace more.
What holiday behaviours would you love to embrace more in your every day life?