Find Your BalanceCarol LeBeau's Health Journal

22. May 2011

I’d never been on a paddleboard. I’ve often watched from the shore as they glide soundlessly across the bay. I’ve even stopped mid-swim to exchange pleasantries with a solitary boarder as we both “paddled” beyond the break off Coronado. It looked like fun, but probably not for me.

I thought it best I remain “in” the water. You see, while I’ve been blessed with a strong heart and lungs… I have no balance. Zip. Zero. Nada! Standing atop a narrow board on moving water was not an option, or so I thought.

Turns out, physical balance can be learned. Fortunately, I had a wonderful teacher. With the help of Silver Strand State Beach head lifeguard, Mike Martino, my maiden voyage atop a paddleboard did not end in disaster!

In his wisdom, Mike told me to take it slow… one step at a time. “First, kneel on the board until you’re comfortable, he said. “Then slowly move into a crouch.” When I finally found my balance in that position, Mike said, “Go ahead and stand.”

A bit wobbly at first, I slowly found my center of gravity and relaxed. That sense of balance allowed me to let go, gently paddle and experience the peace and beauty all around me.

My paddleboard experience got me to thinking about the importance of balance… in all of life. Like many women who came of age during the women’s movement, it’s been a struggle for me. It’s not that many years ago I considered it a badge of honor to run myself ragged. But as one who’s been there, a life out of balance is miserable and unfulfilling.

So ignoring your health is not an option. Eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, praying and spending time with friends and family… are all a must if you want to be the most effective, productive, joy-filled woman possible. Just like my paddleboard adventure, take it one step at a time and you, too, will find your balance.

The Jean McLaughlin Women’s Center for Health and Healing at Palomar Health is a comprehensive facility designed just for women. It offers a breast center, perinatal services, bone density testing and lactation consultation. It’s a one-stop-shop, designed just for women. For more information, visit the Jean McLaughlin Women’s Center or call 858.613.6120.

If you literally need help with improving your physical balance, Palomar Health also offers a balance disorders program that features technology from NASA that performs diagnostic testing and treatment for dizziness, imbalance and vertigo. For more information, visit Rehabilitation Services or call 760.739.3340

Contact Carol by emailing her at