Back on the board

It’s been a little while since I wrote anything on here, and I respect you too much to lie to you, so I want everyone to know that I had the UTI from hell and have spent much of the past couple of weeks hopped up on codeine. And by ‘hopped up on codeine’ I mean ‘curled up in agony in bed wondering why people still bother taking codeine when it does absolutely nothing’. No antibiotics could get rid of my delightful visitor, so I had to wait three weeks for it to go away by itself as my hot water bottle slowly became one with the skin on my stomach and I popped cranberry pills like they were smarties. It’s more-or-less gone now and I await my medal.

Luckily, the weather has been predominantly awful, so I at least didn’t miss anything during my time spent curled in a ball willing the pain to go away. In fact, just last weekend we had a repeat of the blizzard conditions from earlier in the month. Considering it’s supposed to be the warmest part of the country, Cornwall has got a lot of explaining to do, because I have spent  a lot of time recently looking at minus numbers on my weather app.

All this cold weather has turned the prospect of being in the sea into my own personal nightmare. In the summer I used to go for a post-work dip on a regular basis, in naught but a swimming costume, and would feel suitably smug about it every time. Now I watch the surfers in the stormy waters, neoprene-d to the hilt and slowly turning blue. They say it’s fine because the water is warmer than the air. I think that just means we need to reassess he definition of ‘fine’.

But it is March. And that means paddleboarding season has begun, bar a minor setback caused by a storm so big it rearranged every beach in Falmouth and destroyed every board in the place.

Famously, I was not so hot when I started my paddleboarding season last year. And somehow, despite my paddling miles and miles in all kinds of conditions between that rocky start and the end of the 2017 season, I still got myself all nervous for my refresher lesson at the weekend. I could just imagine myself ending up in the water over and over again for a second year running, except this time it would be freezing cold water that recently saw a blizzard, instead of nice water enjoying the kind of very early summer we had last year.

Luckily (if anti-climactically for the purposes of writing about it), I managed to remain dry for my entire time on the board, which is perhaps not such a surprise since it’s like riding a very buoyant and incorrectly-shaped bike. And yes, my thighs are killing me today, but the point is that I should have spent a bit more time having faith in my abilities and a bit less time being scared of the cold water.

Perhaps the real cold water is our daily battle with personal insecurity and the rising tide of negativity in today’s society.

Actually, nah. The sea is just really fucking chilly.

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