SURFDOCK THE DAY I JUMPED INTO THE CANAL

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Yesterday evening we trekked down after work to the docks.

We had been told a few days before that ‘fun activities’ had been organised for us in the form of kayaking and paddle boarding, followed by pizza. Now I’m all for corporate events, but usually in the form of drinks receptions and networking events – watersports (and I Googled them beforehand to see what exactly SurfDock was) just didn’t seem to fit. That said, I used to love rowing out in Islandbridge in my first year of college, so I was more than happy to give it a go.

Fast forward a few hours later, and we’re decked out in wetsuits, buoyancy jackets and slowly but surely making our way along Grand Canal Dock on paddle boards. The balancing act at the beginning was awful. As someone who barely swims let alone surfs, I knew I wasn’t going to get along too well with my paddle board. To make matters worse, just as I managed to figure out how to stand up on the thing, my leg decides to go into spasm. Picture it – me, Bridget Joneseqsue, doing an awkward shaky dance thing on an already awkward shaky board, in an attempt to stop my foot cramping up so that I wouldn’t go head first into the canal. And the water looked every bit as grubby as you can imagine, so the threat of flesh eating bacteria getting at me was very real.

Thankfully I wasn’t the only one to struggle – we all ended up bonding over the impending doom of dipping in the canal water. To make matters that little bit worse, we had been split up into two groups for the kayaking and paddle boarding. All the girls were placed in one group, the guys in another. You can imagine how many attempts the men in the group had at trying to push us off our boards. Ungentlemanly? Absolutely. Did it work? Nope. Were we expecting it? Obviously. I really like the guys I work with, they’re all excellent individuals, but I didn’t trust them for a second.

In the end, the very end, we all ended up jumping into the docks right in front of the Bord Gais Energy theatre. Yes, I probably do need to get some sort of check up to make sure I’m not infected with flesh-eating grubby water bacteria. So far no symptoms, but I figure this may be one of those things that come back to haunt me. It helped that we showered, cleaned up after and ate the nicest of pizzas fresh from Basil Pizza. The pizza was key.

Now that it’s all over and I’m on dry land, I can admit that it was actually a surprisingly brilliant evening. I didn’t expect to enjoy it half as much as I did. And know what? Part of me has been a little jealous all along of all the kids I’ve seen jumping into the docks over the past few weeks while I ventured off back to work each afternoon. I secretly did want to jump in with them, so it was nice to finally tick jumping in the canal of my to-do list. They say you’re not a real Dub until you complete the Dub bucket list, and I’ve just taken that extra step towards final acceptance in this big city I love.

Next time I think I might try wakeboarding though. Now that I’ve ‘mastered’ (using the word very loosely) paddle boarding, it’s the next logical step.

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