The crackles of the fireplace caught my attention as I headed downstairs. The warm air, wrapped around my body, like that of a down blanket.
It is winter in New England.
This trip downstairs usually brought me over to the stove. I’d sort through my winter weather gear. To get dressed for an outdoor adventure in the Winter Wonderland.
But today was calling for something a bit different.
Growing up on a lake Massachusetts, about an hour from the coast. Winters provide many outdoor adventures. When the lakes freeze we skate or ice fish. The snow falls we snowshoe, ski or snowmobile.
With stand up paddleboarding playing a huge role in my life. It has found its way into my winter activities.
Before the deep freeze, creating the lake to become a skating rink, I ventured out for a winter paddle. And some SUP Yoga.
Making my way out on the water was a bit more challenging this go around. Some spots of the lake were frozen and required me to break through. Playing the role of an ice breaker and not of a stand up paddler.
With a channel to the open water. I made my way through the ice filled water. As I paddled the water, the waves from my board would roll through the uncracked ice. Sending the pieces up and down. Some would splinter off. Others stay whole and make sounds that resembled that of an old house settling on a cold winter night.
Once I made my way into the open water, the lake that sees boaters, paddlers and water sports enthusiasts, was empty. The quiet sounds of nature was the only thing that would join me on this day.
As I made my way from one end of the lake to the other. The snow covered shoreline, resembled that of a Northern Alaska shoreline, than a busy New England summer lake.
The crisp cool air, was fresh. And Mother Nature presented a fresh dusting of snow. The feeling was a surreal one. But opening my eyes to the enjoyment of paddling on a winter day.
As I made my way back to the ice lined channel. The water movement and gentle breeze opened up a few, ice filled areas a bit more.
Just wide enough where I was able to take in a winter SUP yoga practice. It was a winter floating studio.
With the chilly water below. Reminding me to stay present while I explored this practice. My breath slowed and my movements followed. The same feeling that accompanied when I paddled out on the empty water, rejoined me for this SUP yoga experience. And my eyes were opened to yet another experience during the winter in New England.
Just as I learned at a young age, we must prepare for the conditions we venture out in. Winter time in New England does not restrict us from doing the things we love. We just have to prepare for them in a different manner.
As I headed out for this snowy adventure on the water. My winter weather gear laid over my cold weather paddling gear. Booties. Gloves. And a life jacket that would keep me afloat. Prepared for the worse. And keeping my mind at ease.
No matter where I travel, there is always water. And with some education, the water usually is inviting enough to let me out on it to explore.
And the endless possibilities that await on this adventure is what calls me back to the water. Again. And again.
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