Kayaking and Other Life Adventures

Yesterday, as we were driving to Lake Nockamixon, the ripple effect of this Endurance Challenge began to sink in. I may have tried kayaking at some point with my family on a lark; but chances are, I would have stood in the background while my son and husband went out on the water. Especially since my daughter did not want to go at all. She was much more interested in the playground. This time, however, it was me on the water with my son. 

I was nervous about trying it and a little glad my daughter was so adamant about not going. I am a worrier by nature, so when my son first suggested we go, my mind immediately went to, how do I save them if they fall in? Am I strong enough swimmer? All of the true story articles from every magazine I ever read flooded my mind. I can’t remember any about kayaking deaths. Anyway, while my husband took my daughter for a walk, my son and I went about the business of figuring out how to kayak. 

I’ve read how to articles about kayaking on line, so I knew that I was suppose to use my core muscles, and not my arms. And there was something about turning and being careful not to flip the thing, which of course worried me, but other than that I had zero experience. The nice young man smiled patiently while I made jokes about my lack of experience and told us he would come get us if we blew on the whistle. I wondered how fast he could swim. There weren’t any motor boats that I could see on the dock, like they have on the beach. I really wasn’t worried about me falling in, but my son. Which is a little crazy, since he is a stronger swimmer than I am. But what if he hit his head? 

My first fear of staying in the kayak was overtaken by my fear of hitting someone. There were a lot of people out on the water, and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was a good idea for the totally inexperienced to share space with so many sail boats, and motor boats. I mean if they are counting on me to avoid a collision they really haven’t thought this through. So, I worried. My son on the other hand kayaked as though he was born to it. He kept calling instructions as though it wasn’t his first time in the water. He wanted to get closer to the sail boats, he wanted to go across the lake and see what was on the other side. I wanted to get away from the other boats, I wanted to go down the lake where there seemed to be clear space. I’m the mom. I won. 

I tried to track my milage with my Runkeeper App, but totally missed the first twenty five minutes or so. When I did finally track it, I only went about a mile in twenty minutes. We did stop a few times to check the time. We had rented the kayaks for an hour. Which by the way, was only fifteen dollars for a single person kayak. That is the cheapest I’ve seen anywhere. Anyway, at that rate, I might finish the Endurance Challenge, but I probably won’t make the Eagles kick off at 1:00pm. 

By the end of the hour, I felt pretty confident maneuvering the kayak. I wasn’t really afraid of bumping into other kayaks anymore since we had bumped into each other a couple of times, mostly so he could check the time on my phone, since I didn’t have my glasses. I even began to enjoy the experience, but I would definitely like to practice some more. 

On the way back I began to think of all the things I have done in the last two months I never would have done if I hadn’t signed up for this challenge. Chances are I would not have gotten on a bike, and if I did, it would have been a one and done. I wouldn’t have biked the Art Museum loop, I would have assumed it was too far for me, let alone do the loop twice. I may have gone to Peace Park, but I wouldn’t have biked it. I wouldn’t have felt the thrill of going down hills or the satisfaction of pushing up hills. I wouldn’t have learned about saddles, bike shorts and how to bike up hills.  I never would have run three miles, let alone five. I wouldn’t have run on a track, because I would have felt too self conscious. I wouldn’t have learned about running form, slowing down and how to pace yourself. I never would have tried biking and then running immediately after. I might have eventually joined a gym, but probably not. But most importantly, the one thing I might have done if I hadn’t decided to do the challenge is give up. I might have given up when things got really hard. Maybe I wouldn’t have, but when I first wasn’t losing any weight and I when I was seeing no progress, I might have walked away. But I didn’t.

It has been an amazing two months and I am really excited to see what else I can do.  


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