Marker Nine

That's What'SUP

By Stephanie Heinatz, Wife of Marker Nine Co-Founder, Rudy Heinatz (who has shamelessly logged into his web site to use this blog to promote her love of stand up paddle boarding, the Tuna Michael Dolsey design she's obsessed with and to urge the Marker Nine owners to design a SUP tank top she can wear on the water. Hint. Hint. Hint.)


The irony hit me in the face like a wave. You know, the kind of wave that you don’t see coming when you’re making your way back to shore from swimming in the ocean and you suddenly get swallowed up in six-inch deep water.

It was 6:30 a.m. My iPhone alarm had just gone off. Across the hallway I could still hear the soft hum of the fan that my sweet 4-year-old son sleeps with every night. Beside me, my husband rustled slightly, popped open an eye to see if I’d heard the alarm, then rolled over to catch a few minutes more of sleep.

I swiped open the phone, turned off the alarm and proceeded to immediately – GULP! – check Facebook.

I run a public relations and marketing firm for a living, so checking social media often throughout the day and the pages and profiles of the clients we work with is not unusual.

As I scrolled through my newsfeed, I landed on the latest blog post shared by Entrepreneur magazine.

Five Things You’re Doing Wrong Every Morning.



Thing number 4.

You wake up and throw yourself right into work. Hello, irony.

There’s no need to go into the nitty gritty details of why this is a bad idea. We all know why.

But here I was, still lying in bed, haven’t even really wiped the sleep from my eyes, and working. This was wrong. Very, very wrong. And I knew it.

Fast forward to the next weekend and there I was. Standing in the middle of the York River off of the Chesapeake Bay feeling completely, totally and utterly lost. Lost in peace. Lost in the sounds of soft, salt waves lapping at the edge of my big Tuna Michael Dolsey stand up paddle board. Lost in the joy of watching two tiny specks on the nearby beach run up and down the sandy shore. Those two tiny specks, of course, were my husband and our sweet lil boy.

That’s when I realized what makes stand up paddle boarding so, so sweet.

It wasn’t the great core workout. Although, that’s great, too.

It’s getting lost. Being disconnected.

There I was. No phone. No computer. No nothing. I didn’t have the urge to check my email, social media or voice messages.

I was completely and utterly disconnected from technology and suddenly completely and utterly connected to myself, my thoughts - thoughts about all the blessings that surround me instead of all the things I have to do.

Has stand up paddle boarding been all the rage? Yes. The Wall Street Journal even wrote about it in 2010, highlighting that mostly women were buying them up from board shapers faster than they could even get them on the shelves.

Guess that makes me somewhat of a statistic.

Would rather be that kind of statistic than the one from Entrepreneur magazine and the overworked business owner who can’t even get out of bed before checking her email.

That day – the day where I had this massive realization of why I haul my board down to the waters we love every chance I get – I soon turned back to shore and paddled my way in. As I got closer, I could hear that sweet little boy welcome me back home.

I knew my iPhone was in my beach bag. And I was sure an email or text or phone call had come in while I was out. But instead of taking a minute to check, I ignored the urge. Instead, I paddled back out with that sweet little boy and our water-loving dog on board.

P.S. I totally realize that in the image above, I'm not exactly standing up. BUT I am wearing my favorite Marker Nine mesh I figured if I was going to hijack this blog and post something without Rudy knowing, I should put my marketing skills to work and use a pic wearing his design! :-)


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