Here I am at the Maui Airport Starbucks, reflecting on the past week. A year ago, my friend Patti invited me to go on a ladies boot camp in Maui with Blast Fitness out of Calgary. In the midst of the long, cold winter we were having, I immediately jumped at the opportunity for some Hawaiian fun, albeit a year away.
As the trip approached, I began receiving emails about our upcoming SURF camp with Swell Women Adventure Retreats. “Pardon me?”, I stuttered. “This is not what I signed up for. I don’t want to surf! Been there, done that, don’t want to do it again!”
I was assured there’d be other activities, including SUP (Stand Up Paddling), snorkeling, boot camps, hiking, and yoga. Those all sounded great, but the threat of having to surf (in the waves!) still loomed.
In the opening circle on our first day of camp, we were asked to set an intention for the week. Mine was to be in the moment and simply enjoy whatever we were doing. To laugh even when challenged, and to not cry too loudly while on my board.
Having just completed our week with the wonderful and talented group from Swell Women, I am proud to report that although I thoroughly enjoyed the sunset yoga, hiking, and SUP’ing, the stand-out experience for me was catching wave after wave at Guardrails surf break.
Our surf instructors Eduardo and Dustin were so patient and encouraging. They taught us how to watch for the right wave, and then after a gentle (or sometimes not so gentle!) push into the wave, to “stand up!!!” as the wave carried us toward shore. Our boards were big, but our grins were even bigger.
We were always on the go, stopping occasionally to enjoy delicious creations by Chef Phil. With all of the details planned out meticulously for us, including transportation and equipment, we could make the most of our “down time” at the beach or at the pool of the Royal Lahaina in Ka’anapali.
I have made some amazing friends, both with the other participants and with Me Shell, Mike, Summer, and Eduardo from Swell Women. I hope our paths cross again. Perhaps they will brave the Canadian surf conditions to join us at our place in Tofino, on the wild West Coast of British Columbia. I sure hope they’re not allergic to neoprene!
I’m still feeling the bliss from a week of extreme exercise and laughter, and the rush from having accomplished something scary. After this experience, I may just have to step out of my comfort zone more often…
Click here to watch our Swell Women surf instructor Dustin Tester on YouTube. Dustin is one of few women to successfully surf the gigantic Jaws surf break. Now that’s truly scary!