Welcome one of our favorite new columnists, Julie Nicholls! (Her new author tag is JuliaN!)

Why do you Paddle?

Some people paddle for profit and prizes.  Some people paddle because it makes them physically pretty.  Some people (including myself) paddle because we like to eat pancakes and pie.  I paddle mostly because I like to make new pals.  I am a social paddler.  In my secret world I am a competitive paddler, but the reality is; before, during, or after a SUP race, I will chitchat with anyone who gives me the opportunity.  At the Cold Stroke Classic, I was even guilty of offering “tips and tricks” out on the race course.  My bad!  I will never be an expert in this sport, but I can make new pals.  One of the best new pals I’ve made along the way has been the one who told me before the race yesterday, “You can’t quit unless you have to go to the hospital”.  Now that’s a good pal!

So ask yourself why do you paddle?

Why a 100 miles/100 days Paddle Challenge?

This winter has been COLD.  It has been hard to force myself to get on the water when the weather is “prohibitive” at best.  I haven’t even seen dolphin feeding lately, it’s like the water is so cold all the fish have gone south.  So how do I keep myself motivated to turn off Animal Planet, get out of my jammies, put down the coffee, load my board, neoprene up and get out there….I sucker others into doing it with me!  I am great at organizing, cajoling, begging, pleading and yes paying others to do what “I” need to do.

So…..I set up the facebook group “100/100Paddle Challenge”.  Now I’ve got peeps “meeting” me for a paddle, we’re just doing it all in a virtual reality.  Now, if I Know there are others “walking the walk” and “practicing what “I” preach”; then I’ll haul myself to the water’s edge.   I need y’all to Help me Help myself!  Send me a request to join and keep me honest.

What is it?

This is a “Fat A**” event.  Those of you, who run, should have heard of them.  They are “events” in the loosest of terms.  There is no registration, no fees or dues, no t-shirts, no prizes, no medals, no sponsorships, no support and NO WHINING!  But they are a way to get a group of people together who are like minded doing the same activity.  The only “rule” here is to paddle 100 miles in 100 days.  If you want.

This “event” actually started on Saturday, January 18th, and the 100 days sort of ends the weekend of the Carolina Cup.  You can do 10 miles a day for 10 days and be a beast, or you can do 3 miles every other day.  You can do ERG miles inside if you’re in Canada and all the water is frozen.  You can SUP, kayak, OC-1, Surf ski, prone or row.  Paddling is a “gentleman’s rule” sport, only you know if you do what you say.  You can track your miles by Garmin, an App, or even guestimation.  You can post your miles every day or at the week’s end or not at all.

Who we have so far

Right now we have several states represented in the group; we’ve got South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.  We’ve got Oklahoma, California and Maine.  We even have Canada well represented.  We don’t have Danny Ching, Dave Kalama, Annabel Andersen or Candice Appleby yet, but that’s ok, I’m patient, I’ll approve their membership requests when they come.  We have “Fast Fridays” where we can follow the Riding Bumps interval series for San Diego (they’ve got a great 12 week online interval program they’re doing and they’re sharing it on their facebook page!)  We’ve got “Moves like Jagger” (or “Mustache”) Mondays.  Dottie of Tennessee (pictured, right) used “Stand” by R.E.M. as her Saturday motivator.  You can “Drop it like its Hot”, or “Easy like a Sunday Morning” paddle….JUST PADDLE.

Join the 100 miles/100 days Community

So come on, be our friend, tell me you’ll meet us for a virtual paddle. Then, post and share if you want.  Tell us what motivated you that day, were you paddling and singing to “Who Let the Dogs Out”, “Getting Jiggy with It”, or, “Stand by Me”?  I really think paddling is all about community.  Young, old, big, little, all occupations and locations.  It’s about inspiring, motivating, learning, laughing and being honest in your effort.

This facebook challenge won’t appeal to everyone, and that’s just fine.  It works for me if I KNOW that there are others out there, even if they’re not physically by my side.  This is a new sport, each event is brandy new, and there is no 100% right way to do anything.  So come on….help me help myself and help yourself to be ready for the Carolina Cup in the process. “We are what we repeatedly do; excellence is then not an act, but a habit” (Aristotle)

Send me a request via facebook to join 100/100 Paddle Challenge.

Julia Nicholls: Help me Help Myself (please)