Wetsuit Workout

When the conditions are right, there is nothing more peaceful than being out on the ocean on a stand-up paddle board. Here on the Salish Sea, we are surrounded by the Olympic Mountains. There are otters and seals in the water, herons, geese, and eagles in flight, and of course, there's plenty of fish and boats of all sizes to watch.

The temperature of the Pacific Ocean around Vancouver Island varies. The water rarely gets above 15ºC/59ºF. During the fall and winter, there is a drop in temperature of the water down to the single digit in Celsius (mid 40s Fahrenheit). This means we wear wetsuits when we're out on our boards. I have a hood, boots, and gloves for my full suit.

Getting a wetsuit on and off is a skill, one I'm still working on. I find it's an exhausting endeavour peeling the booties off, and by the time I pull and stretch and wiggle the top half of my body out of the suit, I'm sweating. Rubber and sweat aren't a good combination. The suit just sticks to you more.

A wetsuit isn't supposed to fit loosely. You want it snug so you keep warm and water doesn't pool between your skin and the suit. If you're used to hiding your jiggly bits under layers of clothing, you can't do this in a wetsuit. It's best to accept your imperfections and focus on where you're going through the waves. That's also good form for traveling through life; be at peace with your shortcomings, and focus on your path ahead.