2020-2021 Youth Writing Contest Honorable Mention – Junior Category – Maine (Grades 6–8)
My First Time Paddle Boarding
Brielle Densmore, Massabesic Middle School, Grade 6, age 11
I was at a cabin that my doctor owned in Limerick on Pickerel Pond. She’s more than a doctor – she’s also sort of a friend. After an hour of swimming, she took out these long boards with paddles. I soon learned these were paddle boards.
She asked, “Would you like to try it?” and I happily replied, “Sure!”
She told me exactly how to paddle it. “Just walk it out into the water until the board floats. Then carefully climb aboard it around the middle of the board. Carefully kneel and start to paddle. When you feel ready, stand up. Just use the paddle, and paddle it like a canoe.”
But I realize that there is one thing about paddle boarding and canoeing that is the opposite. With paddle boarding, most of the time you stand up, but when you canoe, you sit down. And if you stand up in a canoe, you will fall or it will tip over. Although you can sit down or kneel on a paddle board, you feel so much more free if you stand up.
But back to the story. I paddled the board with long and strong strokes. Then after a little while, I felt the courage to stand up. I could feel the gentle wind in my face. It felt like I was zooming across the waters. I loved this feeling. I felt truly free. I realized I had paddled pretty far out. So I paddled back in. I reached shore and my mom told me “You’re a natural.”
I believed this, and it truly came naturally to me. That was when I found something new that I loved. It felt like you were flying on a long board right over the gentle waters.
I have paddle boarded since then, and I really enjoy it. It allows me to feel calm and it is quiet. It is so peaceful. I think everyone in their life should experience this feeling at least once in their life.
This is like a gift that the water gives to us when the time is right. I was lucky enough to have received this gift. I hope everyone gets that chance to receive this wonderful gift of nature.