Paddle Boarding: A Near Conversion

Paddle boarding? Moi? Are you crazy? Why would I want to risk getting dumped into Puget Sound where I hear the water is 57 degrees (and I don’t get into any water colder than my body temperature)? Why would I want to balance on something barely bigger than my feet? And most of all, why would I want to go to a talk on a sport I have no interest in—like none, zip, nada, zero?

Last April, when we got the notice for the Club meeting, with a speaker who was going to expound on paddle boarding, my first thought was booooring, for all the reasons outlined in the previous paragraph.

However, we hadn’t been to the meeting the previous month and despite my misgivings about sitting through a, you know, booooring, speaker topic, we decided to go to the meeting anyway. As usual, we had an enjoyable social hour talking to people we hadn’t seen in a while, getting caught up, telling stories, and having a great time.

When Steve Sherrer, barefoot, got up to talk about his favorite sport, I settled back to daydream for the next half hour. NO WAY! With his inflatable paddle board, he demonstrated (enthusiastically) how to balance on it, how to stay upright, how to turn, hold the paddle and all the other little tricks to keep yourself on the board while whipping around Puget Sound. This talk, on a subject I had no curiosity about, was entertaining, interesting and even somewhat motivating (although I’m still not getting into cold water or even taking a chance on getting dumped into it). All this to say, I truly enjoyed the speaker and his talk with added input from a couple of Club members who had taken lessons from him.

This wasn’t the first time I was surprised going to a meeting and expecting a dull, mind-numbing presentation that actually turned out to be fun, challenging, educational and entertaining.

The moral of this is that our dinner meetings are designed to be all of those things plus more. Sometimes, we think the subject matter just isn’t our cup of tea, and then it turns out to be something novel and inspiring. Or, I admit, sometimes the topic didn’t stimulate me, but I did enjoy being around other club members.

For some unfortunate reason, fewer and fewer people have been coming to the dinner meetings. There are many reasons, but for the club to continue these kinds of gatherings, we need members to show up. There are always good reasons we can’t make a meeting, but do we have a good reason or is it inertia, or we just don’t want to battle traffic, or the topic doesn’t sound interesting, or the food isn’t as good as we’d wish?

It often takes some effort to get to meetings, but it also takes effort for the club officers to make the arrangements and conduct the meetings, and it takes effort to get quality speakers who should be honored by having a large and enthusiastic audience.

So, if you’ve been passing on these get-togethers for no particular reason, why don’t you seriously think about joining us at the next opportunity?

By Pat Hillis

Past Commodore