Wednesday, May 21, 2014

L.L Bean revelation

 So excited to get my Paddleboard for L.L Bean and get on the water

 Not bad surroundings for my maiden voyage

I am so excited to be one of four L.L Bean's trailblazers named this year.  This relationship couldn't have blossomed at a better time.  After getting hip cartilage repair in January this winter, this season hasn't been what I expected.  The winter and spring has been chock full with recovery and rehab.  But, recovering from hip surgery means your life is temporarily filled with a lot of 'NOs' and 'Can'ts'.  You can't fully bear weight for two weeks.  You can't put much resistance on the pedals yet. You can't slip on the ice or anywhere for that matter.  You can't go cross country skiing.  You can't kick in the pool.  You can't mountain bike quite yet.  You can't go for a three hour ride.  You can't walk too far.  You can't flex or extend your leg that much yet.  You can't ride up hills.  You can't ride into a headwind.  You can't hike or walk too much up hill.  You can't go surfing in Santa Cruz.  
 Jojo giving it a try on the far left

Sup Intervals with two strangers
The one 'CAN' I was told was "Lea, you CAN go stand up paddle boarding.  That will be great for rehab and recovery."  I love cross training and a variety of activities off the bike so I absolutely jumped at this opportunity.  This is where L.L Bean came into the picture.  They helped me with my one 'CAN' and sent out an amazing stand up paddle board to Santa Cruz, CA.  With this support, L.L Bean has singlehandedly opened up my world beyond the resistance cords, gym time, and stationary trainer.  I've been able to get outside more and fully enjoy the water.  Growing up in Vermont and being a professional cyclist, I'm a land and mountain lover to the core, but this has really opened up an entire different world and love.  Every time I go out paddle boarding, I see little sea otters cracking their dinner open on their bellies or seals popping their head out of the water (to which I frantically paddle in the other direction because they are big).  I saw a group of dolphins, and I even witnessed one completely jump out of the water, something that I only thought was possible at Sea World.  I've enjoyed many sunsets and orange and pink painted water.  My maiden voyage on my SUP, I even jumped in with two girls doing paddle board intervals.  This beautiful crafted piece of fiberglass and wood makes me feel athletically empowered again and completely capable.  That is, once I get it in the water.  I'm still mastering the art of transferring it from the garage to the car, from the car to the ocean and back.  Jojo is taking care of that part for now.  

Thank you L.L Bean for taking me out of the gym and outside in the sun.  Thank you for plucking me off land and into the water for new adventures.  I'm blazing new trails.   

 Using my In The Arena L.L Bean tote to ferry around the many pieces of workout equipment I travel with
 This is my favorite L.L Bean hoodie that I refuse to take off. Enjoyed a birthday breakfast of croissant bread pudding.  Literally one of the best meals ever.