I Puked All Over Myself While Paddleboarding

dj wearing samsung gear vr
Life is still kind of boring in the virtual realm. But at least I look cool while bored.

Throwing up while sober is more unpleasant than while drunk.

I’ve vomited maybe three times in the past dozen years, all from a flu or stomach ache. But back when I was drinking, puking after a binge was expected (and often welcomed). I would feel so shitty after a night of double whiskey sours that the next morning heaving out my insides would provide a modicum of relief. Sometimes even a small jolt of endorphins. It’s like a runner’s high, but without the running and nipple tape. But barfing sober, it just sucks from the coming attractions until the end credits.

A few weeks ago I puked while sober, but this time for a reason new to my experience. Motion sickness.

Well, motion sickness is not new to me. I experience it more that the average joker. Even in the calmest waters I have to down four capsules of Dramamine prior to leaving shore. And still I get queasy an hour into the boat ride. On dry land I also have to be careful. I have a personal trainer and I had to convince him in our first session that, while I would love to do burpees, after five reps I get nauseas. I’m sure he thought I was lying because that’s the kind of thing one would say to get out of doing burpees.

Once I took a woman to Six Flags for a first date. I LOVE ROLLER COASTERS. After a full day of riding, I had turned green. I can’t imagine she was impressed. The nausea was still present two days later. I called up my friend who’s an ENT because I was convinced something was wrong with my brain. “Nope, you’re fine. You’re just getting older.” With my natural sensitivity to motion sickness I can’t do the big roller coasters any longer. I have a virtual reality headset and even the simulated Six Flags app caused a few dry-heaves.

dj wearing samsung gear vr
I did not know I was being photographed because at that moment I was watching a Cirque du Soleil thing where I WAS IN THE PERFORMANCE AND CONCENTRATING ON CATCHING MY TRAPEZE PARTNER.

For a holiday gift my girlfriend took me on a trip to Cabo San Lucas. I wish I had stories to regale you of jamming with Sammy Hagar at his bar or getting into a knife fight with the Brujos. But none of that happened. We stayed busy, though. One of the activities was paddle boarding. For those unfamiliar, you stand on a surfboard and paddle around with an oar. It looks simple and I’ve seen children do it without struggle. We hired a guide to take us out into the ocean for a lesson. First he showed us the basic moves on land. It’s not complicated. You stand up and paddle. I felt confident.

Once in the water, all my dry-land practicing was for shit. I couldn’t stay up for more than ten seconds. Beth got up on her first try and never once fell. It was embarrassing because I was doing exactly what the instructor had taught me just minutes before. But once I was up my legs would shake and down I’d go. My quads were destroyed within minutes. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Neither could Beth or the instructor. Both silently watched me stand and fall, stand and fall, stand and fall. I was so exhausted after the twelfth failure that I had to sit on the board to catch my breath. I felt like I was taking up all our time and asked if I could just sit on the board and paddle instead. This was even more humiliating. A few minutes later we passed a group of twenty paddleboarders. Not one was struggling. Or sitting.

Smug little shits.

For the next twenty minutes we paddled away from shore over to one of the rock formations. As we passed a  docked cruise ship, the nausea hit me. All of a sudden on I’m feeling every wave. And it hurts. I didn’t want to ruin my girlfriend’s experience so I forged ahead trying to ignore the feelings of impending doom. Then, a more frightening thought popped into my head. I’m twenty minutes from shore. No matter how sick I was about to become nobody could rescue me. We paddled on, but my brain jolted me with a brilliant idea.

Turn around. Right now.

I could barely speak by this point. I muttered out loud that I had to turn around. Bet and the guide were a distance in front of me. She yelled to ask what was wrong. That’s when I puked. All over myself. I was so motion sick I couldn’t even turn my head to puke into the water. I puked right down the front of my bare chest and watched as it pooled into my swim suit. I thought about jumping in the water but I was worried that I wouldn’t have the strength to get back on the board. Beth and the instructor turned their heads away in disgust. I must have been downwind. For good measure I heaved guts seven more times.

As I mentioned earlier, barfing while sober provides no relief. I prayed to the angel of death to take me. I had nothing to live for. I’m not being dramatic. I legitimately said, “Well, Death, I had a decent run. I still have all my hair. Let’s go.” As per usual, my prayers went unanswered.

I had no choice but to start the journey home. I told Beth and the instructor to go on without me. They followed anyway. I was exhausted by the time I got to the beach. I had to sit in the water for a few minutes to collect myself. Also, this helped rinse off the puke. Beth, seeing that I was now safe, asked to go back out for more paddleboarding. The owner of the rental place came over to me. He said, “Don’t worry, it happens.” I could tell he was lying. I saw at least a hundred other paddleboarders go out and not one came back with bile down the front of their chests. He asked, “Too much partying last night, huh?” I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the only partying I did was to eat both a seafood appetizer and seafood entree in the same meal.

I drank a bottle of water and passed out on the sand for ninety minutes.

When I woke up Beth was putting her board away and I felt fine again. I wish that I had a photo of my face when I was sick, but you can’t bring your camera while paddleboarding. It would have made a great animated gif – my paddleboard changing color from white to pink. You’ll have to use your imagination, and if I’m even a halfway decent writer, you have already created the visuals of my experience. I can assure you, it was much worse than you imagined.

This is about the same spot in the water when I barfed. So at least it was a beautiful setting, right?

cabo san lucas el arco the arch
Puking near El Arco is neither good nor back luck according to local legend.


group paddle board photo credit: 1_9_16 am paddleboard tour Lido Key Florida 04 via photopin (license)

Join D.J.'s Mailing List!

You're worth it. Give yourself the gift of more ThoughtsFromParis!

Thanks! Check your inbox or spam folder for a welcome message from D.J. - it should be there now!

Something went wrong.