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  • Alexandra Hillenbrand

Today I Fell Off my Paddle board

Today I fell off my paddle board. I wish I could say it was graceful, but that would only qualify as a big fat lie, and I never want to lie to you. I tried to stand up, but wobbled on my cankles and ended up splashing right back into the bay, disrupting several ecosystems. Panic is to me as sprinkles are to ice cream, just a little extra dash of something that could give a person a heart attack. I try not to be that person, but I hate touching the bottom of the lake, and I hate being in open water. Still traumatized from the movie Jaws, so much so, that logic doesn't seem to present itself in my brain.

I start kicking and choking on water like I'm a baby who was just thrown into the water by their parent, expected to float back up, but too focused on crying to actually be capable of such a feat. Very dramatic, especially when one takes into note that I was in at the most 4 feet of water and already cautiously buttoned up in a life vest that was constricting my neck. I held onto my board for dear life, while my sisters laughed around me.

"You have to get back on," they told me as I continued to splash around helplessly.

"How?" I asked, "I'm not exactly a stellar athlete".

"Grab the middle of the board and push yourself up".

"I have no upper body strength," I tried to explain to them, but they were insistent. One held my paddle for me, while the other steadied my board. "Float your feet to the surface behind you," Christen yelled.

"Shut up," I yelled back as I desperately tried to launch my body onto the board, "I can't concentrate if you mansplain how to do it".

I attempted to get back on several times, loudly grunting and sobbing as the neighbors of our rental looked on in fear and trepidation, wondering if they were going to have to perform cpr after I sent myself into cardiac arrest. I flopped on, fell back off.

"You got this," Christen cheered as I finally managed to get one of my meaty knees onto the surface of the board. At that point, I had enough of a vantage point to flop the rest of my body onto the board like a dying fish. My bathing suit was practically swallowed up by my cheeks, and I was genuinely out of breath from exerting more energy than I have in a lifetime. As I rested there, resigned to my new state as a floating body, Ryann thought it would be really hilarious to trip me back over. I was buoyant enough that not even her attempts could knock me down.

Note to self, I should never be allowed to swim in open water or tackle anything that requires athleticism. I'm keeping it to the lake for now and always, because I know jaws is out there somewhere in the ocean waiting to meet his match.

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