One of the most important things I did on vacation this summer was trying something completely new . . . and challenging, physically and mentally.

This year my family and I went to the gorgeous island of Grand Cayman, which is northwest of Cuba. Lucky for us, we left New York City right before Hurricane Irene hit, and because the storm was in the eastern part of the Carribbean, we were completely untouched.

In addition to reading (with a little glass of white wine at sunset!) . . .

swimming . . .

and looking for stingrays . . .

I decided to go beyond my usual kayaking adventures and try something completely different: paddle boarding.

Since I don’t ski, surf or windsurf, paddle boarding was not a natural thing for me to do. The guy at the water sports center told me to “never look down, keep your eyes on the horizon at all times . . . ” which helped tremendously. My first time standing up, my legs were shaking and I was sure I would never stay up. But I did.

Forty-five minutes later, with a blister forming on my right hand from paddling so hard and fast . . . I decided it was time to go back to shore. My biggest regret? That I waited until it was almost time to leave before I tried it.  It’s my new favorite thing to do.

Did you try something new this summer?

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