Saturday, April 30, 2011

Women's windsurfing clinic.

One of my favorite boutiques in Paia for clothes is Simmer, a surf/windsurfing store. My friend Rebecca works there, so a visit is instantly like shopping with a girlfriend and she has a great eye for dressing people. A few weeks ago when I popped in to pick up one of her necklaces (yes, she also makes fab jewelry) she mentioned a ladies windsurfing clinic and I instantly knew I was in.

In yes, in for what I wasn't sure as I'd never attended a group clinic before. First of all, you need to know that my average time on the water to sail is maybe 40 minutes once a month. The net result has been me sailing at the same level for YEARS with no progress what so ever. Hence my signing up for a push (or shove if required) to a new and improved level.

Six days of 10am - 4pm.........surely that oughta get me some where?

Oh dear, day one remedial student falling on land exercises and boldly going nowhere doesn't bode well. The edict from high "if you can't do it on land you can't do it on water" proved oh so true!

Learning any stage of windsurfing is not easy, in fact it's amazing that as many people sail as they do. In the full immersion program there's no way your regular frustrations are not going to show, which is why we were all there, to break through those grrrrrr moments and expose a new set at the next level. Thank f*#k swearing was not discouraged! However, there's no doubt in a group you laugh about your failings a lot easier and God knows you get your money's worth on that alone!

Ohhhhhhh but how sweet it is when it all comes together and you're controlling the rig and playing with the wind and the water. *Grins from ear to ear*

We played hard and none of us walked away unscathed and my body rebelled from the get go, but it was all so worth it.

Day one: Burnt scalp (I'm such a delicate flower)!
Day two: Goof ball hat purchased so head happy, but hands gained tiny blisters and small cut on foot irritating as shit in the sand.
Day three: Kook outfit progresses nicely with addition of recycled bike gloves.
Day four: Head and hands sorted but feet raw. Resisted temptation of booties for full on sexy neoprene centerfold look.
Day five: Don't care how I look anymore, hit the wall and bailed on the afternoon sesh for a nap.
Day six: Awoke in the night to rhythmically throbbing feet.

The complete outfit-winning! Alarmingly, the kookier the outfit the better I sailed.

Spot the impostor.

The brilliance of a clinic is the journey. In this case, six strangers came together with one passion and without having to rush, we played, learned and were educated specifically for our level on the building blocks of windsurfing. The multi-levels were helpful, as three of us with further to go could see what lay ahead and those ahead got to fine tune their basics and learned to jump and ride the waves. It was really exciting to see every ones progress and between mouthfuls of our well deserved lunch, Shawna critiqued our sailing thanks to her helmet Gopro.

I too had a Gopro, but perhaps I shouldn't have bothered!

The gardening gloves and doofus hat saved me from the sun and pain, but they have to go!

Six magnificent women, six completely different sailing levels and one fantastic instructor (well one and a bit-the lovely and talented Tatiana is MIA in this photo).

Shawna Cropas was our wonder woman coach. She knows her shit, communicates it well, has limitless 'let's go' enthusiasm, coupled with a total understanding for what you're going through. Here and there we dropped like flies, but not once did I see her energy flag. She's fantastically real, laughs easily, reads the group energy really well, is totally present, an excellent cook and gives nothing short of everything.

Other than my Mary Poppins like gravitational pull to the Royal Wedding, I have not a clue what happened in the world last week. Thanks to the numerous foodies in our group, we often had dinner together and it was a real pleasure hanging out with such juicy & witty women. Barley had I slept, cleaned my cuts and applied the Nuskin before I was happily rigging up again. I loved the simple routine and really felt as if I was on holiday with the rest of the girls. The consistent nature of information and practice, information and practice, information and practice, produced skill sets that changed my physical and mental way of sailing completely and I feel solid and excited by what I walked away with. I believe we all did.

As I pulled out of Stable Road for the final time I actually felt like a sailor and in my driveway on our last night, I reluctantly unpacked my well used gear for the first time in six days.

Fun, fun, fun so much fun and I can't wait to get back in the water.


rebecca said...

I miss you already! looking forward to sailing with you oh so soon (you can even wear the hat and gloves). smiles - r

Anonymous said...

Awesome, Sharon!!! I checked out your blog after seeing the pix on Tatiana's website (from her FB link) and saw your picies there! Looking forward to sailing with you and the lovely Rebecca when I return in August!

Leedslass said...

OMG it would be MY daughter who looked a dork in the hat and gloves. You've lived on Maui for umpty-odd years now - how come you're the one who burns and blisters more than anyone else?
However, that said, you obviously had a wonderful week's clinic - good on you for soldiering on despite the burned scalp, cut foot and blisters. Now lie down and rest dear xxx

Sharon said...

Rebecca: I'll sail with you only if YOU wear the hat and gloves!

Ely: Tati's such a loose and fluid sailor....I gotta channel her more on the water :-)

Leedslass: LOL-apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

cammar said...

Awesome post, Shawna rocks.

PS. You own me one for not commenting on hat and gloves pics...

Mchumbie said...

Whatever works, Sharon! I swim in a hat on hot days!

rebecca said...

yeah baby, I'll wear the hat and gloves - bring it on! wish I had a pic of the yellow dishwashing gloves I wore when I was in the DR. OMG I miss all ya'all...

Leedslass said...

You posted this on the last day of April - are you putting what you learned to good use? Just one suggestion, treat yourself to a different hat - it's definitely not you! xx

Shawna said...

Hi Sharon!!!

Man you are soooo funny! I love your blog! Let's keep sailing through out the summer! Now that you're evenly tenderized! We could always have drinks later to ease the pain! ha ha! Miss you guys.. Such a great group of individuals!

xo Shawna