Ok, after looking at two beaches on Calhoun, Marzipan Tinkerpuss (name changed to protect privacy) and I settled on a smallish natural put in on Lake of the Isles because Calhoun was just to choppy with the wind for a complete beginner.
Because the put in was rocky and a bit garbage-y I kept my water sandals on. After all I've been wearing them to mountain goat my way across rocky portages in the BWCA. How can they be wrong? Well, the only stand up I manage with the sandals on was stand up comedy, so the sandals had to go!!
After this initial non-starter MT suggested some yoga on the board. Turns out, downward dog is a very good exercise to get better at upward human! We threw in a few other animals for good measure and some arm stretches with the paddle. All good stuff to find that board groove.
Aha! Much better! Turns out once my bare feet were directly planted on the board things picked up really quickly and within the hour I felt comfortable enough to leave the shore behind and venture to the middle of the lake suitably humming "I'm walking on water - oh yeah!" to the tune of Katrina and the Waves.
Nothing wrong with changing position and kneeling for a bit to give the toes and the brain a little rest.
They've shown that standing alone on a flat surface actually takes quite a bit of processing from the brain, that we never notice because it's all running in the background. So balancing on the board takes even more brain power and after 5 fun and satisfying hours on the water my concentration was spent I was ready to give the board back until the next time!
As I got out of the water and walked to the car I was thinking: "I'm dripping with happiness."
Thanks Marzipan T. for coming out with me and spotting me to get my first attempt down. What a lovely day I had with you and Midwest Mountaineering's rental board: Slingshot Crossbreed 11' 6" (I already got it reserved again for another day, heehee!)