Revitalization's Weblog

For the curious, questioning, and wandering soul

Kayak Catharsis

Today I went kayaking. Random, I know. And much out of the ordinary! When my friend asked me to go, I was unsure, nervous about doing something that wasn’t programmed into my day-to-day summer routine. But, I decided I was going to start tip toeing out of my comfort zone; I decided I needed different, and if anything, this could potentially be great exercise.

            So, we strapped the kayaks onto my friend’s car and headed out to the river. On the way, I kept thinking, I hope I don’t fall into the water… I hope I remember how to kayak—it had been so long since I had. But, once we got there, and lugged those heavy boats into the water, I was excited. I was, for once, happy to be outside, in the sunshine, on the water, with swans, insects, and balls of slimy algae. It was great! I was in nature, and ready for all it had to offer me. At least I thought I was ready…

            My friend, much more muscular and experienced with kayaking, easily passed me with her quick and smooth strokes. I struggled to keep up, often drifting off to the side or colliding with her kayak. But, going downstream, with the wind behind us, kayaking wasn’t so bad. It was fun, as I peered through my tinted sunglasses at the buzzing life that infested the banks, and at the blue sky complete with a sparkling sun. Even while my arms started whining, I continued, not ready to let anything to ruin my time.

            When we decided to turn around, I began to worry a bit. I thought we had travelled quite a distance, and I thought it would take a while to get back. But I had no idea! I soon realized that my good friend the wind, who easily pushed me downstream, became my greatest foe. Ugh! I began to paddle—hard too. It seemed I was either going ant speed, or not moving at all. And if I stopped for a few seconds, to rest my now aching arms, the winds were determined to undo the little progress I managed to achieve. And, as to be expected, my friend paddled strongly and quickly upstream, appearing to be unfazed by the wind factor. While she began to disappear and as I struggled to move forward at all, she would look back and urge me to catch up. Humph! As if I could if I wanted to!

            We travelled like this—she stayed what seemed like miles ahead, while I busted my butt to move forward at an extremely, excruciatingly slow pace. All the while, I kept getting wet! Water drops fell off the paddles and onto my sleeves and pants, basically drenching me. Every stroke I took, water would hit my face—another sting to make me feel more and more defeated as time went on. I wanted to stop paddling so badly! My arms were sore, the winds had turned on me, nature didn’t look so glorious anymore, and my all-too-experienced friend made me seem slow and inadequate.

            But then I thought, this river was so similar to my life in so many ways. At times, I’ve felt like I was going up stream without a paddle (though I had one here, so I guess this cliché doesn’t really work). But, there are a lot of negative things in my life holding me down, pushing me back, and not allowing me to reach for my full potential. This river was doing the same thing! Not only was it not letting me get back to the warmth of the car, but it was also throwing every deterrent it could at me- be it wind, waves, or water. And so, I suddenly felt the urge to overcome this sucker! I wanted to conquer it, and prove to myself that I could finish this, and I could overcome anything in my life as well, however hard it may be.

            I sat up, took a deep breath, and dug my paddle into murky water, determined. And I continued by snail speed, once stroke at a time, oblivious to the water splashing all over me. Finally, after a loooong time and a lot of effort, I saw the dock! I pushed forward with more force- even increasing my speed a bit! When I made it, I was relieved! Yes! I had made it, I had it in me to finish! Woo Hoo! And I got a great arm workout at the same time.

            Today was a good day.

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1 Comment»

  KayakCountry – All things Kayak » Kayak Catharsis wrote @

[…] Aaron Reedy wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptBut then I thought, this river was so similar to my life in so many ways. At times, I’ve felt like I was going up stream without a paddle (though I had one here, so I guess this cliché doesn’t really work). … […]


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