June 2018 Wellness Champion

June Wellness Champion

Pictured above: Dawn Vickers

This month’s Wellness Champion is paddle boarder, Dawn Vickers from the Accommodated Learning Centre. Dawn describes Stand-up Paddle Board (SUP) as a great after work and vacation activity. When the forecast is nice Dawn likes to keep her paddleboard on the roof of her car, making for a quick ride to one of the small lakes close by. Dawn isn’t the only one in her family that enjoys SUP; her dogs are always up for a paddle.
Dawn has been participating in SUP for four years. Dawn was first attracted to the idea of paddle boarding when, having experienced some health issues, she was looking to replace intense activities like running that could no longer fit with her new reality.  She found paddling to be a great overall workout that includes core stability, strength, and balance components while being able to set one’s own pace. Longer kayaking trips are also a big part of her summers but she finds that the paddleboard is easier to load than a kayak allowing for more spontaneity. Sometimes, Dawn likes to add a little yoga to her SUP workout when the water is clean enough to risk falling in. While she is out on the water, she uses not only her board and paddle, but she always wears a PFD and weather appropriate clothing. Her dogs are also outfitted for safety.
Dawn first got started in SUP through friends who own a local canoe and kayak store.  She explained that she had tried their boards a few times to decide if she liked the sport, and to determine which style of board would work best for her. She was primarily self-taught, finding it easy to check out tutorials and different techniques online. Dawn advises that patience has really helped her build her skills, as is not being afraid to fall in the water. Dawn says that it is best to keep paddling when your balance becomes shaky. She explained that most people tend to stop, and that makes capsizing much more likely.
Dawn’s advice for those interested in giving SUP a try, is to rent a board or take some classes to ensure that it is a good fit prior to taking the plunge and buying a board. She also suggests to start out with a wider, more forgiving board like one meant for yoga.
Dawn has found that paddling has positively affected her life, as it is an activity she can do alone or with friends. Sometimes it is nice to sit, meditate and get grounded.

Please help us thank Dawn for sharing her wellness tips and tricks with us and congratulate her on practicing a healthy lifestyle!