Last time I blogged, I shared the story of Sideshore – how I was inspired to create a destination for watersports thanks to Exmouth’s perfect natural conditions.
It wasn’t based on a whim either – I’ve been kitesurfing in Exmouth for years and have rarely found a day when it wasn’t superb. So, as the opening of Sideshore approached, and we were all plunged into lockdown earlier this year, I set myself a challenge: to kitesurf every day for 30 days.
For health and wellbeing reasons, the fresh air and exercise was the perfect antidote to the challenges of lockdown and the uncertainty of what the pandemic would do next. But to be honest, the wellbeing benefits would have been huge at any time – simply getting out and being active makes a huge difference to mood, mental cognition and health.
And that’s been a big part of the driving force behind Sideshore – the opportunity to provide people with better access to the shoreline and all the wellness benefits it brings. Just being by the sea helps to elevate your mood and staring at an ever-changing horizon does wonders for soothing a busy or troubled mind.
So what did I achieve? I kitesurfed a full 29 of the 30 days (one day just didn’t have enough wind for kitesurfing). Not only that, I committed to ensuring the entire experience left as little carbon footprint as possible by cycling from my home near Exeter to Exmouth – and back – each day. That’s 20 miles each way for 30 days – a total of 1,200 miles.
And at the end of all this? I concluded that Exmouth is, indeed, the best kitesurfing destination in the world! It also reminded me again of the passion behind the creation of Sideshore. Kitesurfing may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and perhaps not all can easily hop on a paddleboard or kayak, but a beach walk, paddle or swim in the sea goes a long way to easing each and every one of us through life. And I’m not the only one on their bike during lockdown. Edge Watersports have another cycle-swim-run experience to share – check this out.
This connection to nature, and the beautiful world in which we live is also the best way to get inspiration to do the best we can for our planet. So whilst this started as my own personal challenge, I know many of you who follow this blog are motivated by many of the same environmental drivers as I am.
And if any of you want to set yourself personal challenges involving physical activity, including the sea and avoiding carbon emissions, then I’d love to hear from you. In the next year or so, I will be publishing a list, and creating some specific Exmouth challenges ranging from easy walking to hard core water sports. To keep us all fit, and to support a range of environmental charities. Watch this space.