Sunrise Paddle Boarding Plus a Free Gift

Lauren Merritt

by Lauren Merritt

Lauren Merritt is a Pensacola native and is licensed in both Florida and Alabama. Lauren has her own law practice located in the offices of My Pink Lawyer® and is an affiliated independent counsel. Lauren is a newlywed with three bonus daughters and a newly adopted baby son. Lauren enjoys running, going to the gym, crafting with the girls, dining out, and relaxing at home with her new family.

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I recently took Matt for his first ever paddle boarding experience… a sunrise paddle at 5:30 am!


What can I say?! The early bird gets the worm!


One of the many reasons we love our gym, Regymen Fitness, is because it offers a wide variety of group fitness classes. During the summer months, we have the option to take paddle boarding classes with top notch boards provided at no extra cost!


That morning, we rolled out of bed and managed to get ourselves in to the car. The struggle is real, ya’ll!


During the car ride down to the meeting spot at Bayview Park, I was the typical Type A personality I am so grateful Matt accepts and loves me for.

Lauren and Matt Merritt paddle boarding“Don’t forget to bring your water bottle. It’s hot when the sun comes up!”


“Don’t forget to leave your phone in the car. Don’t want it to get ruined if you fall off!”


“I packed sweat towels for us, just in case!”


Matt is such a good sport. I don’t know many people who can handle me that early in the morning!


We met our crew, gathered our boards, and got ready to take to the water. I waited for Matt to get settled on his board first.


Knees first. Paddle away from the dock. Then stand up.


Guys- I won’t lie. I had SERIOUS concerns when Matt first got on his board.


He looked like a baby deer trying to stand for the first time!


“Oh my sweet goodness!” I thought to myself. “I won’t be embarrassed unless he falls off MORE than three times.”


“Good job, baby!” I encouraged.


And then, guess what? I relaxed and just let Matt be Matt. We paddled all the way through Bayou Texar to the base of the Three Mile Bridge and made it just in time to see a spectacular sunrise.


You want to know how many times my husband fell in the water? ZERO! That’s right. He’s practically a pro now!


Like his natural ability to balance on the board, Matt brings balance to our relationship. Whereas I admit I tend to be a little high-strung, worrisome, and fearful, Matt helps to mellow me out with his more relaxed, positive and encouraging personality.


When I get worried or fearful, I tend to lose sight of the forest for the trees. I’m grateful to have a teammate that helps me take a step back.


When a loved one dies, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the details and steps to take next. Having lost my mom unexpectedly when she was 56, I remember the frustration of having to take practical steps (like purchasing a burial plot) before I even had an opportunity to grieve.


To help simplify and organize the steps to take after a death in the family, I put together a free Survivor Checklist: Six Steps to Take After a Loved One Dies in Florida.


DOWNLOAD your Free Survivor Checklist here.


Don’t have a need for the checklist today? Print a copy of the checklist to store with your estate planning documents so your family will have it.


Have questions about the probate process?


Give me a call at (850) 741-2999 or send me at email at


Lauren "Paddle Board Queen" Merritt


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