It has been a while.

What can I say I have been rubbish getting on to the water of late.  I haven’t been on the board since September and I am feeling really upset by that.  Life has very much got in the way of late.  One thing after another has stopped me from getting out and getting a good dose of Vitamin Sea!!   This will change very soon, and I will hit the water and hit it hard, I want to get out on my stick and really make the most of the resources available to me where I live.  I live a stones through from one of the most sensational coastlines the UK has to offer and really really miss paddling out.  However, although I have not been out k the board does not mean I have not been exercising.  I am still swimming 3-4 times a week, swimming distances between 3 and 4 KM and also going to the gym.  I am keeping in reasonable shape but seem to have lost all drive and motivation for dieting.  Weight is maintaining and so is my size, so that’s not too bad, but I am constantly thinking How much I would have improved if the past few months had been different.  So what has kept me from the water?  Firstly, I stupidly badly sprained my ankle by falling of a kerb.  That was 6 weeks out of action.  Then Christmas and winter weather, constant work shifts on good days and a massive amount of overtime all stopped me from getting on the water.  Most recently I have, for the past 3 weeks, had a chest infection and been feeling very poorly.  

Hopefully that is all behind me now and I can get on with the matter in hand and get out on the water and more importantly get racing, which is why I bought the board I did.    Having said that I also have put my name forward yo join the Naismith N1SCO racing team.  This is a small group of paddlers that will be selected to make up a race team.  There are mandatory races and 3 other races of the paddlers choice to participate in over the summer.  I am hoping I am selected as this will give me some impetus to train harder and to get on the water with regularity, not that I need motivation as I really miss being on the water!!! 

This year is going be a big year for me and the water.  I am engaging with the Marine Conservation Society and acting as a Sea Champion, helping them with fundraising and organising beach cleans etc.  Lots f dead pinging around the old noodle with how best to promote the coastline and the importance of caring for our Sea environment.  So much to plan, to organise.  I am also swimming Bournemouth Pier to Pier again to raise funds for the British Heart Foundaton, more on that later.  But for now my mission is to get back on the water!!!! How to see you out there too. 


Finally bit the bullet

One week ago today I made a decision to stop procrastinating and buy a better board.  Not just a better board but possible and arguably one of the finest inflatable boards on the market.  I spoke to the very helpful staff at New Forest Paddle Sport Company no settled upon the Starboard Astro Racer 12’6″ X 28″.  It is a serious bit of kit and was even more delighted that I got a deal that included a paddle bag, starboard coiled race leash and also a Starboard Bolt Hybrid Carbon race paddle.  

I have to say that this is serious stuff….I am now committed to training hard and ensuring that the investment will not be wasted.  I could not wit for work to be over on Friday evening, racing home to see my kids and racing out the door to pick up my new kit.  Sean at New Forest Paddle was spot on and did not open anything, handing me the Stanley knife as soon as I walked through the door and pointed me to the box in the corner of the room…It was Christmas, going through all the packing and revealing MY new board.  I was so excited, I think I hid it well, my instinct was to go YIPPEE and dance around the place, but I resisted the urge.  Once the board was unpacked came the next big task, measuring and cutting the paddle down to size.  I was left to do this myself and I am glad I was, it is akin to. Samurai forging his own sword or a Jedi making his own lightsaber.   A right of passage that, if possible and confident all paddlers should go through.  I careful wrapped electrical tape around the shaft, took the saw nod me my guidelines.  Then the job was done.  A spot of glue and the paddle was ready for the water.

I rushed to the waters edge at Keyhaven and pumped up the board, the glorious new board smell wafting on the summers evening.  It was every bit as good as I remembered it to be when I tested it a month ago.  The difference is this time the board is mine.  The board coupled with the phenomenal paddle was amazing.  Unfortunately, my balance was slightly off as I was coming down with a cold so was not at 100% and took a tumble into the drink.  Fortunately the water was warm and forgiving.  I enjoyed my paddle and enjoyed testing the paddle and the board and together they make a fantastic coupling.

The paddle!

Let me tell you about the Starboard bolt paddle.  It has an oval shaft, which is so very comfortable to grip, it has been designed in conjunction with Connor Baxter and carries his signature, it has a rough edge by the top of the handle which always for grip if performing his ‘choke down’ paddle stroke.  (There is a you tube video of Baxter being interviewed and he demonstrates this technique better that I can explain it ). The bode is a composite of carbon fibre and foam and is amazingly light, I mean really light, it feels like your holding a fluffy cloud!  Despite it weighing less than a feather blowing on the breeze, it is possible to get quite sensational power through it.  Set a 10 degree angle the catch is phenomenal and it glides through the water with ease, delivering amazing control and thrust.  I have used 6 paddles in my time paddling, each one better than the last.  But this will quite frankly never be beaten.  It is sensational, it is feather light, responsive and a pure joy to use.

The board!

For me, space constraints require me to have an inflatable and I can’t imagine any other board being quite as good as this.  With a FCS fin box system it beats, hands down, the slide and clip of my old board and some other race boards out there.  It is light when inflated but has near the rigidity of a hardboard.  The dual stringers running down the centre provide strength.  The board itself when paddled is best paddled at speed , it likes to go fast, after last that is what it is designed to do.  But, it always is forgiving at low cruising speed.  When I toppled off, I was at a 80 degree angle to the water almost vertical before the board released its grip of me and drop me in the water.  People had time to mock, jest and offer advice before I eventually went in. 

The future’s bright!

I am still in training for the Bournemouth Pier to Pier as the original date was cancelled due to bad wether and now re-arranged for  August 7th.  Father that the training begins to use this board with the most appropriate gusto that it deserves.  I am planning on a winter training schedule and possibly some winter races with BaySup.  But I think my announcement on to the race scene will be Head of the Dart 2017.  That is my aim, that is my plan…..bring it on!

SUP guide to buying a first board.

With some many companies and so much choice out there to buy a board is a disaster waiting to happen.  I bought my first board 8 months ago and I will be honest I had no idea what I was doing….I was clueless and now I am paying the price. It is a huge investment and a rewarding one, but get it wrong as I did is to risk throwing money down the toilet.  If I knew then what I know now I would have made a very different decision.

I got the SUP bug whilst on holiday and was determined to buy a board but my funds were limited.  So I shopped around, read widely about boards and found a company run out of a guy’s apartment who imports their own brand of boards. Great, I thought, low overheads give low prices and also it is supporting a local business and I am all for that.  I arrived with pockets bulging with cash ready to be impressed, I guess my inexperience and naivety led to me falling for the patter of the sales man, and guess what I was sold a dummy!

Buying a SUP is akin to buying a car….. The person selling it makes money if they convince you to part with yours, but like a car you need to try before you buy.  After all you wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, one should never buy a board without testing it on the water.  This is lesson 1!  A bad board will dump you in the drink, no matter how accomplished a SUP rider you are, if the rocker is tippy or the design poor then it will be unstable and if that happens then no matter how good your balance is you wil never successfully ride that board.  

What makes a good board? Well, the best thing to look for is Research and Development, also have a look at the brands doing well in professional competition. Chances are they will have put a lot of time and effort into research.  As I write this the top brand on the circuit is Starboard, followed by Mistral.  It sounds like a cliche but the bigger brands spend a lot of time and resources making the best boards.  It is difficult to see how smaller home based brands can spend the time and money researching and developing good performing boards.  It is not possible they don’t have the research budget as a result they are bad boards.  

Let me tell you what is wrong with my board then maybe that will give an indication on what to look out for.

Rigidity:  one of the key things is how stiff the board is, many inflatable boards have an issue that they are not stiff enough.  In fact my board bounces around all over the place.  If a board is not stiff enough then it will be unbalanced and balance is everything when remaining upright.  

Tracking:  my board has 3 fins, a central large fin and 2 smaller ‘thruster fins’,  in a perfect world this gives stability and tracking, in reality the thrusters are made of such soft plastic that they curl and I paddle in circles.  It takes a lot of effort to keep the board tracking straight so constant adjustment is needed which takes all speed out the board.  This is a major design flaw but not one that is covered under the warranty.  

Shape:  ask yourself what you will be using the board for, flat water, surf, race, yoga?  There is a shape for every activity and the difference between them is vast.  I wanted an all rounder so had a rounded nose.  This is probably the best board for most.  But is the nose doesn’t have the right angle it does not cut through the after and tends to cut into the after and nose dives, meaning constant adjustment of stance, not ideal for the beginner.  

They are the key things to look out for.  I spent a great deal of time in the water because my board is imbalanced, the rocker is tippy and threw me off.  I have got the hang of my board though and as a result I can ride nearly anything because I have developed a great sense of what the board can do.  This is the positive of a bad board…..if you can handle a cheap bad board when you do upgrade and go for something better then you will be well practiced.  

So here are buying points:

  • Try before you buy
  • Don’t fall for sales technique
  • Try before you buy 
  • Research the board and company
  • Try, try, test and try
  • Cheaper is not better
  • Find what is suited to you and what you want to do with it
  • Try it on the water – that’s is where you will use it so try it!
  • Talk to more experienced boarders and what they use.
  • Don’t fall for sales as they want your money

I have had to learn the hard way and I did wrong and now I’m stuck with a poor board.  Don’t make the same mistake.

Lots of paddle time 

It is long time overdue I gave an update on events and what’s been happening in my little paddle world.  I have managed to get out and get some great sessions done, lots of long distance stuff and lots of water time, which is a joy.  I have also been hard at training for the Bournemouth Pier to Pier and the journey towards that event has wielded some great results regarding weight loss.  So much to say I don’t know where to begin?

I gues if I start at the weight loss… I have now lost 5 st 7 lbs and in the best shape of my life so far, I am not content with that yet, I have a long way to go and have hit a wall regarding my diet.  I put it down to the incredible amount of exercise that I am attempting to do, I am swimming for 70 minutes 3 times a week and covering a distance of 2.5 km, I am also going to the gym for 2 hours 3 times a week and burning roughly 900 kcal each session.  This massive increase in activity has done wonders for my general well being, my blood pressure is way done as is my resting heart rate. My body is going through significant changes and I am getting a great deal of definition and something that I have previously never had.  I am happier in myself, calmer, healthier and generally well.  But, I am getting frustrated that for the past 3. Weeks my weight loss has stalled despite what I do to change up the diet or what I eat.  I have ramped up the exercise and kept up with the swimming.  I am now 3 weeks away from the big swim and it is very daunting.  A new friend, someone I met recently on the paddleboard trail, is an old hand at charity events and physical challenges told me the other day that to ‘approach any event with a sense of trepidation is a good thing.’  And I can see his point, approaching the big day, and it is coming up quickly, carefully and with a sense of dread keeps me from pushing too hard, my instinct is to train hard, and as the event gets closer to train harder.  But, part of me is holding back in case I get injured.  And that is my concern, a lot of people have sponsored me and I have raised a significant sum so far, I don’t want to let them down. So, gingerly I train, careful I improve and hopefully will make it through In one piece.

So what’s next?  Once the vent I have trained for for the past 6 months is complete what do I do then, and this has also played on my mind. I have a had a few too many thoughts on this subject and what I would like to do is get in on the emerging Paddleboard race scene.  Living as I do a 10 minute drive from Bournemouth beach I am ideally situated to get in on an emerging race scene.  There is some discussion as to what size board should be used and that is confusing me, guaranteed I will fork out for a race board and it will be the wrong size!  The debate is between 14′ and 12′ 6″boards.  My instinct is to go with a 12’6″, why?  Because a 12’6″ gives more people the opportunity to participate, they are smaller, more manoeuvrable and easier to handle in a turn.  Many races have buoy turns and to successfully mange that on a 14′ you have to complete a very tricky and advanced kick turn which involves raising the nose of the board by standing over the back fin and balancing whilst turning at speed.  Whereas the smaller board is an turn easier on a cross bow turn or hard paddle turn.  I have to say that until this week I have never attempted a kick turn and the thought was daunting, but after some exceptional instruction from I gave it a go and although I got a bit wet was getting the hang of it and definitely have the confidence to give it a go. I also tested a race board with them.  I tested the Starboard 12’6″ Astro Racer inflatable and absolutely fell in love with it.  It was sublime board, it cut the water like a fish, it responded beautifully and was very responsive.  It opened its arms and said ‘trust me, paddle a bit harder, paddle a bit faster I won’t drop you in the water’, a reaction my current board does not have, my current board has an anti rider repellent on it, as soon as you get on it wants to throw you off. The Starboard encouraged a faster paddle. And as I shortened and quickened my stroke the nose started to rise from the water and my word did it go!  I vowed that that would be my board of choice.  Only problem is that to buy one I need £1090 and I can’t justify spending that kind of money right now.  Hopefully It won’t be long before I do get one, lots of saving to be done, maybe selling some bits on eBay but I do have to get that board.  The only way I can describe it is going from an Aston Martin to a Ford Fiesta.

Riding a board like that really illuminates the faults in my current board. Faults I had hitherto not known about.  I had thought that my board was not bad and any problems in manoeuvrability to stability were down to the rider.  But the instructor who showed me kick turns had a go on my board and could not believed that I was able to do half the things that I have been doing on it.  The flex in the board was astounding when watching someone else ride it, it wobbles around like a nothing I have seen before.  Rigidity is nothing it bounces up and down more than a trampoline.  Handling and tracking are just abysmal.  This is a hard lesson and one I didn’t realise I needed to learn.  When I bought the board I found an online company that offered boards cheaply and claiming a good quality board.  I went, looked and purchased the board without ever getting it on the water.  I did not try any other boards because they were out of my price range and I was desperate to take up this sport that I fell in love with.  So I bought the board and had many many misadventures in falling in before I got the balance and knack of using the board.  The lesson is try before you buy and don’t rush into any decision.  Also, cheap does not mean good, in fact when it comes to something you are relying on to keep you. Out of the water and safe the lower the quality the more at risk you put yourself in.  All things I did not know.  When I bought the board I knew relatively little about paddleboarding but I did know a lot about the water.  As I Kew nothing about the sport, what I wanted to do in the future and much about board design and construction, I ended up throwing £400 away on a board, that I have had fun and learnt lots, but ultimately ended up being shit.  Well, lesson learnt! The hard way!

Paddleboarding is a way of life , it’s a community and there is a comraderie between riders.  A friendly hello to those you pass or pass you on the river or sea or wherever you SUP.  In that spirit I have joined some very friendly chaps on a regular outings.  I paddle with the owner of a SUP specific brand of clothing called Hutch SUP wear and they offer some fantastic clothing at a reasonable price.  They are also a good laugh and good company.  We often paddle first thing in the morning heading out at 7 am and that has made paddling very pleasant for me as before I as lays went out solo.  I have explored new places done many new things on a board and advanced how I paddle.  Check out the range of clothing at

So, that is where I am at.  Paddling a lemon wanting to paddle a race.  Hopefully, that Starboard will be mine soon and I can train hard for the BaySup frostbite series in the winter and enter Head of the Dart and Battle of the Thames next year.  I also have grand plans for some long distance endurance SUP’s in aid charity and as I get more planned I will update.  So I hope lots of you are out on the water and staying safe doing so.    Oh and here is the link to the board I tested.

It has been too long!

It really has been too long since my last post.  Unfortunately SUP has not been ossicle for me for the past month or so.  I am absolutely gutted by that.  Firstly, we got battered by several storm fronts.  High. Winds and a lot of rain made for some gnarly conditions for the moderately novice boarder.  I did not want to go out and get washed away.  There was a case of an experienced kayaker who misread the flow of storm run off and he was not found.  Really brings in sharp relief the fragile nature of life and how being on the water is a privilege that nature affords us, not a right of us to go messing about and my thoughts are with his family.  But, having said that the weather is improving, the seas and rivers are calming and Spring is retreating in the overwhelming force that will soon be summer and SUP will be back on the agenda! And I have a lot of time to make up.

I have not been idle in the lay off.  Indeed, my fitness programme has gone from strength to strength.  To the extent I really should rename this blog from ‘Fat man on a SUP’ to ‘not so fat man on a sup’.  Through the power of diet and exercise I have lost a whopping 4st 7lbs and for those that prefer metric that’s 28kg!  I still have another 2 st 7lbs ( 10.5 kg) to lose before I reach my target.  I have lost 8″ around my waist and the same from my chest.  I swim and gym 6 times a week and consume less than 1800kcal daily.  I am to be beach ready by July, because that is when I am ding a 1.4 mile sea swim for charity.  The British Heart Foundation have, for a few years, organised the swim from Bournemouth pier to Boscombe Pier in Dorset Uk, it is a worthy charity that raise funds for heart disease research and support to families affected by cardiac issues (I will put a link up to my Just Giving page at the end if anyone wishes to donate).  

I have been thinking recently, pondering who I am and the person I want to be.  I guess being on such a radical and total weight loss and attitude readjust has given me pause fir thought.  I am essentially trying to change who I am, or should I say who I was, not just mentally and in my attitude, but physically, through the weight loss I am trying to become someone I have never been, someone toned, trimmed, and generally pleasing to the eye.  It sounds strange to some of you that someone is that intent on changing essentially who they are, but I was not happy with how I looked, I was not happy with how it affected my relationship with an amazing women and how my children must perceive me. So, I had to change. I had to do something to make everyone around me happier. 

This radical change in attitude though comes with its own side issues.  These have only raised their heads in the past week. I had to go through my wardrobe and empty all the clothes that did not fit, not an issue had to be done, and it does give me a chance to get some new threads.  This itself has been eye opening, I know can go into shops like Fat Face, Crew or Animal and choose essentially what I want because I now fit in fashionable/designer clothing.  I must be honest, I am not much fir fashion, I have a look I like and am happy to be out with.  My issue is, and this is mad, I now think that I am getting clothes I like that I really should not be wearing.  I am 37 years old and I think I have entered into mid life crisis early.  Dressing to recapture my youth, or at least what I would have liked my youth to be if I had not listened to my parents and my friends (I use the term loosely as looking back they really were’nt).  But, I wonder if I now am doing things because I didn’t back when I had hair. Yes, I am balding which makes the look a bit ridiculous.  I have 2 children, twin boys and they are 2 and a half now, I wonder if I should be suited and booted and not wondering around in Hawaiian shirts and board shorts.  But that it makes me comfortable and happy. 

I feel that as a man I now have the power and authority that I lacked in my youth to voice opinions and to act on the complaints.  This is how my brain works at the moment and it is driving me nuts, my thought process is:  I was young and idealistic and no one listened to me because I was young.  I am in my twenties I am going to gain the knowledge and experience so that my voice can be heard.  I am in my 30’s and now those that need to listen won’t because they see me as old and passed it.  So, what is one to do?  Well, for a start, let’s start with the sea that I love so much…….stop putting plastic in it!  Microbe ads in cosmetics and scrubs drive me up the fucking wall!  Use sand it’s abrasive and natural and when it gets to the sea it just settles back to whence it came.  Stop the use of helium balloons, two reasons for this, helium is finite, we can’t make any more and when it’s gone it’s but also an inevitable side effect of helium balloons is that they float up, when they pop or go down they land wherever they land often in the sea and get stuck in the stomachs of all manner of Marine creatures.  And my final gripe today is a simple one, take your rubbish home or put it in the bin.  Doesn’t matter where you are, the park, the beach or in the middle of nowhere.  

Well that’s that rant over so I shall now update on SUP.  I bought a new paddle.  I had been using the bog standard alloy paddle that came with my board and now have upgraded to a glass fibre paddle, it is a Red Paddle Co Vario glass fibre 3 piece and it’s as light as a feather.  Unfortunately I have not tested it out yet as not had a chance to get on the water since purchasing it.  But will review it when I do.  What I can say is this, many of the literature say not to bother with an alloy paddle, to change it as soon as possible. I disagree, for this reason, learning to paddle and I am mostly self taught, having the extra weight in the paddle develops technique and power.  So, don’t be so quick to ditch the alloy, use it to ones advantage.  When you’re confident with it change it up.

I think that may be enough of a post for now, you are all caught up.  Once I get on. The water again I will update further, but fir now here is the link to my Just giving page, any and all donations are most welcome and even if you can give a little it will go a long way.

Delay in paddling out

It has been an unfortunate few weeks.  The U.K. Has been battered by several storms and inclement weather making paddle boarding nigh on impossible.  The good days we have had I have been working and regrettably I have been unable to get out on the water.  I am quite sad about this as I could do with a good SUP.  Get out on my mind, in the middle of nowhere with no interruptions and no technology.  Go and get some quality exercise whilst soaking up the brisk chill of a winter water adventure.  Sounds idyllic but not always practical in the British weather.  Having said that I see a lot of posts on social media of people paddling around icebergs or trapping through snow to get some water time.  The problem I have here is that the water becomes treacherous with the increased volume and quite frankly I have no desire to get myself into potential dangerous situations.  I have already risked that this year and I got a bit frightened.  

So, what have I been doing instead?  Well, I have been putting in some serious pool time and getting fit in the gym.  I am going to be swimming for charity in July to raise money for the British Heart Foundation swimming between Bournemouth and Boscombe pier, a 1.4 mile open sea swim that is annual done (weather and sea state permitting) for a fantastic cause.  I have not swam seriously since I was in the Hampshire swim team when I was 16 and even then I was a backstroke specialist so this poses a unique and interesting challenge.  One for which I cannot wait to attempt.  I have been on a major diet and loosing lots of weight, getting into shape, changing my lifestyle and generally overhauling my life.  What changes have I made?  Well, firstly I have stopped drinking carbonated drinks, no Coke, no lemonade, no fizzy water, since Jan 04th I have not had a single fizzy drink and this has made an interesting change.  I feel better just for drinking water and green tea.  Coffee and high caffeine drinks have been dramatically reduced and as a result I feel calmer and happier.  I was once told that coffee can act as a depressive.  Surprisingly this is true.  Limited caffeine and also reduced meat and fat intake has given me a spring in my step.  

It’s remarkable to look back and analyse what I was eating, the portion sizes, meat intake and realise that I was headed to bad times if I continued.  A healthy diet fruit, vegetables, fish and low carbs are having a remarkably positive effect…Who knew?

Now what I need is some good weather!  Get on the board and paddle, paddle, paddle!  I really can’t wait for spring in order to get some calm seas and calm rivers with a light wind and a warm sun.  In preparation I am looking into some new kit.  I am really happy with the inflatable board I have, it was a bargain buy and is serving me well, but I am still using the paddle that came with it which is a no frills alloy paddle, heavy, very little flex and freezing on cold days, so I am looking into a new one which I am leaning to an intermediate paddle with a glass carbon shaft.  It is the outlay that is getting to me as I struggle to find the funds.  I am looking at a Red Paddle Co glass paddle and hopefully will get one soon.  The other thing I am after is a pair of floating sunglasses but they seem to be quite rare to get a suitable one.  Obviously they are abundant online but I would rather know they are suitable before I purchase, after all don’t want to look like Elton John or Dame Edna!  But all these things are relatively minor, and all I ally need is some bright weather and a favourable tide. 

The plan is to hopefully get out on Tuesday but we will see.  Anyway folks, happy paddling and stay safe in the winter weather.

Body image

Some of you may be aware that I have been on a weight loss and diet since the beginning of the year and so far it is going great with almost 2 st lost.  I am absolutely chuffed that I have done so well, but realise that I need to do more to reach my target.  But, loosing the weight has caused me to rethink the idea of body image and how male obesity is viewed by people, by the media and by the public.  It was not uncommon for me to be verbally abused because of my weight, I joked in an earlier post that people commented on me messing about in  and on the water with the board that there was a beached whale etc.  It was partly a joke, but as with any joke it is based in truth and this is what has happened. Those comments occur and I have dealt with them my entire life.  I have had people call me names in the street, sneer, jeer and mock me because I am overweight.  For years I just excepted it as part of life.  But, I have come to realise that this sort of bullying, even by strangers, has greatly affected my actions and who I am.  I have a very low level of self confidence and an even lower opinion of myself, my worth is diametrically opposed to my weight…the bigger the weight the lower I value myself.  This has affected every relationship I have ever had. Whether I disbelieve the fact that someone could like even love me, whether the paranoia within the relationship that stems from myself is based on my own insecurity and it is all related to my weight.

So, I have entered into a radical regime of weight loss, but recently I have been noticing things that have angered me, most recently an advert on television for Amazon in which a bigger gentlemen is partaking in a Yoga class and one of the slender women is looking at him in a child’s pose and imagines pricking him with a meat thermometer, imaging him as a plump roast Chicken.  This advert is a perfect example of reverse body image.  If a woman did this to another woman in the advert it would have been pulled imediately, in fact would never have been made.  It appears that larger gentlemen have become the image of humour in television adverts from pole dancing builders to pieces of plump cooked meat the image of. A larger gentlemen is to be used to mock and laugh at.  

Which brings me nicely on to positive body image and the taboo subject that is the male form. One of the biggest neglected areas is the male image, men are subjected to. Great deal of pressure to look good, and they are generally not allowed to show weakness in the face of that pressure.  We are often pressured to look like David Beckham or have the perfect six pack and muscles and be slender and string etc.  Guess what, we can’t.  It takes a great deal of money and time to sculpt a figure that David would be happy with, and as a working father of two I can tell you I have seldom the time to spend 3 hours a day in the gym.  Having said that I am disgusted by myself that I am the size I am presently and I am changing that.  I am not sitting here saying this is me accept it, because I don’t.  We all have the capacity for change and to do something about it.  

Men though, have been conditioned to be tactful, especially when it comes to the female form.  We cannot any longer, admire the female form without being called a chauvinist or worse.  Yet, a women can comment on the male form with impunity.  Men don’t complain nor do they criticise or reprimand women for doing this. But I can tell you from bitter personal experience a that the effects of these types of conversation a an be damaging and cause harm that is not seen.  The inequality between acceptable behaviour is such that a man is under so much pressure to have a physique chisselled from stone and that is not a task that can easily be achieved.  I have tried, and continue to try to loose the fat, tone the muscles and to aka myself attractive to my better half who deserves the best version of me that I can give her.  My children deserve a healthy and fit father that can run around with them and do lots of fun things.  All these motivations are driving me to diet, exercise and get fit.  I will achieve my goals and hopefully surpass them.  But, I am battling a lifetime of abusive people who don’t understand what it is like to be obese, what it is like to battle weight issues.  Hopefully, this will change.
Now, on to a more positive note and back to the subject of this blog…I had a great SUP the other Sunday.  I went to my usual river spot and pumped up and paddled for an hour.  I was pressured on time to take the family out so I went at 08:30 in the morning at high tide and greatly enjoyed myself! It was grey, gloomy but the river was calm and was good.