Is summer truly over in Dallas? Nope. I refuse to admit it. As excited as I am for fall, I hate saying goodbye to the warm days of summer, and I especially hate saying goodbye to endless hours in/on the water. But let’s face it: Dallas weather will keep us warm for a bit longer, and even though it’s the middle of September, lake days haven’t disappeared just yet.
This past Saturday, I spent the day paddle boarding at White Rock Lake with SMU Outdoor Adventures. Outdoor Adventures (OA) is a program within the Department of Recreational Sports here at SMU. They sponsor a variety of trips and workshops for students to essentially get outdoors and explore all that nature has to offer. Whether you want to go skydiving, backpacking, or anything in between, the OA supplies equipment, an opportunity to meet other students, and a guaranteed good time.
On Saturday morning, our group of nine participants and two trip leaders headed out to the lake with a trailer of kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and materials to cookout what would be one of the most well-deserved lunches of my life. Although I’m not an ultra athletic person, I had paddle boarded a few times before in my hometown of Austin, Texas, but my previous experiences were nothing like this.
This trip was different. Yes, the current was stronger than we anticipated and I ended up paddling on my knees rather than standing up (I wanted to actually propel myself forward more than I wanted to stand; doing both was not possible), but this trip was so much better than anything I had done before. I was totally at peace, and I continuously thought about how happy I was to be on the water (Hoku’s “Perfect Day” might have been referenced a few times; I hummed it proudly). I had an opportunity to simply enjoy the day, and the best part was that I got to bond with many students whom I had never met before. We encouraged each other, we ate more chips and burgers than we care to admit together, and when we got back to Dallas and watched our football team grab a win against UNT, we somehow managed to make the day even better.
I’m sure that fall will bring more incredible Saturdays to come, but this one will be tough to beat!