SHREWSBURY – A trio of Shrewsbury friends are on a mission to stay healthy and inspire others.
That drew them on a marathon kayaking trip earlier this fall across much of Lake Quinsigamond.
“It was really fun,” said Pat Ahern in a recent interview. “We felt proud. All three of us.”
‘It was an adventure’
Ahern, Dee Bosma and Cyndee Plude have been friends for decades.
Ahern and Bosma worked together over long careers as nurses. Plude, a daycare provider, joined the friend group as well.
All three got involved in the sport of kayaking in different ways. Over time, they all set their sights on long trips through Lake Quinsigamond itself.
“It was an adventure,” Plude said.
The group set out near the Oak Island Boat Ramp on the same end of Lake Quinsigamond as Route 20.
They then paddled miles north, under Route 9 and the Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge and all the way to the I-290 overpass over the far end of the lake. Then, the friends turned around and headed back.
“We just said ‘Why don’t we just go keep going?’” Plude said of the decision to continue past their initial goal of simply reaching the Burns Bridge.
Kayaking trip prompts positive response
Ahern, Bosma and Plude shared photos of their trip on Facebook.
Immediately, they said they heard comments from friends and acquaintances who said they had been inspired to get outside.
“That was a real positive response,” Bosma said.
As they feel gratitude for opportunities to inspire others, Ahern, Bosma and Plude are, themselves, working to push through the struggle that has been life amid COVID-19.
“It’s a wonderful thing to be out in nature,” Bosma said. “We’re all nature lovers…And we all just want to be healthy.”
“We’re all getting along in age,” she added.
Bosma had already retired when COVID-19 hit. She came out of retirement, though, returning to work in order to help handle case surges and labor shortages brought on by coronavirus precautions.
Ahern has also retired. She’s continuing a long-running business providing CPR trainings in her retirement, however.
Plude, meanwhile, is on a personal quest to hike all of New Hampshire’s 48 4,000-foot mountains.
She’s hoping to retire soon to spend more time in nature.
“Get out there and do it,” she said of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and physical activity. “Just do it.”