I finally feel my back is getting back to normal, so I am ready to resume my challenge. My friend Maxine is a coach at Polzeath Surf Lifesaving club, so I took myself down to Polzeath beach on a sunny Sunday morning to give it a go. I wasn't sure what it was all about, so looked it up and apparently surf lifesaving clubs "provide beach lifeguard training, where they practise rescue techniques and provide a greater understanding of safety in and around the water, whilst getting fit and having fun". This smacks of Baywatch to me but unfortunately I looked more like a fat Pamela Anderson, whose roots need doing and thanks to sitting outside in the week and failing to put on any bug spray, my legs were dotted in bites (Paul had remarked the following day that I looked like a "medieval, plague ridden, wench"). So as much as I wanted to evoke my inner Pammy, it was just the usual, must-try-harder, Sammy.
Maxine quite rightly put in me in the nippers class – or Under 9s. They looked at me suspiciously as I was the only adult playing flag games with them and generally fully participating. I am not sure why I had to get so competitive with them but I was determined to give it my all, no matter that they were half my size.
Me and the board....
Once fully warmed up, we took our boards down to the water’s edge for further instruction on safety. We started our water based fun by running into the surf, past two markers and back to the beach. This was not a pretty sight and in no way reminiscent of Baywatch. My little class mates, immediately turned into dolphins as they hit the water and then cruised back to the start with puff to spare. I must say that in everything I have done, this had to be one of the most physically demanding. Repeatedly running through water, with the resistance that entailed, certainly gave you that burning feeling in the legs. A few laps of that every day would certainly tone you up.
As regular readers of this blog will know, not one of my challenges goes past without me incurring some sort of humiliation. It is now a given that I will be collect a new mortification badge. I thought I had already ticked that box by stepping out in my summer wetsuit, with all the previously described issues but no, more was yet to come. As we teamed up to repeat the circuit, I was put with three of the children. Jack, who I later learned was six, turned and looked at me, shrivelled his face in disappointment and nudged his mate and said “Oh no, look who’s on our team!” The race began but I couldn’t focus, as I was mentally regaling all the things that I could probably do better than Jack. He didn’t even cheer me back to the finishing line. I decided not to make Jack my nemesis, given his tender age but things were frosty between us.
It was time for the boards and I was allocated a slab of finned, polystyrene to master. Maxine helpfully instructed me to get on the board, paddle out, turn and catch a wave. I could do each separately but not together, so I decided to focus just on the headline grabbing, wave catching. Maxine helped me to catch the first few and then I was left to my own devices to practise.
Post Session Photo
It was a real joy to watch these kids riding in the waves, as they screamed with sheer joy and excitement. Living close to the coast, I can really appreciate the need to get our kids confident and safe in the sea and they were absolutely having a ball. I caught a couple of my own waves and felt a semblance of their exhilaration, before I inevitably beached myself in unflattering poses at the feet of random paddlers.
It was time to get back to the clubhouse. I had a fantastic morning and would certainly consider sacrificing my sacred Sunday morning lie in, when the little ones are older and would like to try it out in the future. As for me, I will now go into full training to ensure that Jack begs me to go in his team if that day ever happens!
To get in touch with Polzeath Surf Life Saving Club, you can find them on Facebook. To find out more about surf life saving, you can visit the Surf Lifesaving GB site here. If you would like to promote your surf life saving club, you can do so for free by registering with Sofadodger.co.uk.
My name is Sam. I am a 35 year old, unfit, gym-phobic, mother of 3, who enjoys indulging in a glass of wine or two. I started the website sofadodger.co.uk this year, which is ironic as I am more a sofadweller than a sofadodger. So I have taken on the challenge of trying 100 different sports and fitness classes in a year. I shall be blogging about, what will be, one of the most interesting and challenging years of my life!