I discovered Stand Up Paddleboarding on Greater Pelican Lake in Minnesota, where I had the pleasure of being invited with my kids for a few consecutive summers. My friend Cristie and her family had all the toys for fun on the beautiful clear lake, and the SUP became my toy of choice. I loved gliding along on top of the water, to the rhythm and quiet splash of my paddle, and especially loved going out at sunset, when the power boaters had gone home for the day and the lake was peaceful.
Later we were invited to join a big camping group at Echo Lake, near Lake Almanor, and I rented two inflatables from Mike's Paddle to share with the group. That trip solidified my love of SUP, but I didn't become a regular paddler until the pandemic shut down everything including the gym where I had been swimming. I signed up for a monthly rental pass and got over here as often as I could. I got to know the paddling routes, gained strength and confidence, and enjoyed the interaction with Mike's Paddle's staff - the few people I got to interact with on a regular basis! At first I didn't leave the marina and needed a nap immediately after paddling. Now I regularly make the full loop out into the bay, catch the waves and hang out by The Wall doing yoga stretches before I head back to the shop (and don't need a nap anymore).
Getting to know Mike and his staff and asking nosy questions at the front desk landed me a meeting upstairs. Mike needed marketing help and I was ready to return to the workforce after selling my previous business (LaunderBot) and taking the pandemic year off (I had worked from home, solo, for six years and wasn't interested in doing it any more!), and the match was made. I started as Marketing Director in June of 2021, working in an office overlooking the Ballena Bay Marina, and I couldn't love my job more. Now I just need to take advantage of the expertise surrounding me and become the best paddler I can be!