As we work on our grant proposal for a paddle therapy program, we begin to outline WHY paddling is so therapeutic...
Mindfulness: Focusing on the present moment to the point that intrusive and negative thoughts are minimized. When the mind is focused on the moment, one feels refreshed, free from limiting beliefs.
Distress Tolerance: Tolerating uncomfortable states in the body. With paddling, beginners move through initial body shakes into stability. Moving through to stability builds confidence . The paddler can begin to get comfortable with body shakes as a state of moving into power, rather than a state of dis-empowerment. As a survivor of a violent crime, I know how empowering it is to shake with anxiety into a power move in outdoor adventure. In this way, the shaking becomes re-framed as a symbol of strength. The less anxiety is feared, the less it becomes a problem.
Building Social Supports: Encouraging one another, laughing, enjoying paddling over the waves without the need to discuss uncomfortable things. Friendships through outdoor adventure are lasting friendships, with the commonality of success, motivation, and moving through obstacles together in a positive manner.
Building Upon Success: There's nothing like a sunset after a paddle! For those who have been dis-empowered for felt ineffective, moving through the water on a board, kneeling, or standing is a path to building self-confidence and a hopeful future orientation.
Come paddle with us! At Rising Up Adventures, your paddle supports paddle therapy for Crime Survivors! Do you enjoy paddle boarding? Tell us why in the comments! We'd love to hear from you!