Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone:

Jené Kapela Paddle Boarding

When I first started paddle boarding two years ago I had no idea how much it would change my life. I didn’t even really like watersports, and I was (and still am) a little afraid of boats. But I like to try new things, and paddling was a new thing people were doing. If other people could do it, so could I! With this mindset, I signed up for a paddle board lesson through Precision Paddleboards.

Challenge Your Limits

That one lesson quickly led to a second lesson, which then led to me signing up for a six-week training program. Through this program I learned all the basics you think you don’t need someone to teach you but really do – how to hold the paddle correctly, how to position your body to maximize your stroke, how to turn the board in different ways without losing forward momentum, and, very importantly, how to handle emergency situations.

These were all the things I pretty much expected to happen through the training program. What I didn’t expect was that I would meet so many amazing people who would become my friends, join a community of paddlers that extends not only across the state but across the country and beyond, and discover a new way for me and my husband to spend quality time together.

I also learned I like to go fast. Before the program ended I had my own board and paddle (and various other accessories) and had competed in my first race.

Living an Inspired Life

Fast forward two years: My social life, to a great extent, revolves around paddle boarding and my paddling friends. From race training to social paddles, I spend many weeknights and weekend mornings on the water with great people. The best part is my husband is involved, too! This is something we enjoy doing together and with other people.

I’ve spent more time in the Keys than I have in the eleven years I’ve lived in South Florida. In fact, I’ve traveled more in general with the paddleboards than I have without. The prospect of a race is a great excuse for a weekend mini-vacay. Am I a competitive racer? No. Do I have a lot of fun doing it anyway? Yes!

I’ve seen dolphins, sea turtles, sting rays, a manta ray, and nurse sharks – up close and personal! This is my husband’s favorite part of paddling – relaxing and enjoying the natural wildlife, such as during our recent trip through the mangroves in Islamorada (he also really likes social paddles that are accompanied by a cooler of beer).

Life is Better on the Water

Paddle boarding has become my primary method of exercise, as well as my motivation for exercising off-water (cardio and ab work, which I’ve always despised, strengthen those paddling muscles, so now I make more of an effort to do those things). I just feel healthier in general.

I’m thankful every time I paddle that I have the chance to do something I love so much in such a beautiful place. I’m also thankful I took the chance and signed up for that first lesson. I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I hadn’t. It is amazing how one small thing can change your life!

So if you haven’t tried paddle boarding yet, what are you waiting for?

See you on the water and at the Fort Lauderdale Turkey Trot and Paddle!

Jené Kapela

Event Details: 

Date:  Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27

Time: 6AM Event Registration | 7:30AM Run/Walk/Paddle

Location: DC Alexander Park, 501 Fort Lauderdale Blvd. – South of Las Olas on A1A

To Register: Click Here

Categories: Events, Uncategorized

Comments are closed.