Until recently, I assumed that kayaking was something that anybody could easily do without any experience or training. Surely you just hop in and paddle, don't you? Nevertheless, being a rather cautious, careful, and somewhat clumsy person, I decided to book a lesson with Paul #http://www.kayaktrainingwa.com.au/
Well, that first lesson, several weeks ago, totally changed my world.
Firstly, it is best not to actually hop into a kayak because you will overbalance both yourself and the kayak immediately, so please forget any 'hop-in' ideas. Instead, you have to bottom in first - well, sort of. It's a bit complicated because, apart from having to reacquaint yourself with the fact that your bottom has muscles, you also have to use your legs and arms to get yourself into the kayak without falling out first. Trust me; it's not easy.
Secondly, paddling a kayak is not a skill that comes naturally to novices like me. There are all sorts of manoeuvres, like braking, powering forward, and doing U-turns, that require training.
Thirdly, the experience of being in a kayak on the Collie River, on a beautiful day like today, is pure bliss. Accompanied by Paul and his wife, Sonia, we easily paddled for a couple of hours from the #Eaton foreshore to somewhere and back again. I was very tempted by Paul's suggestion to practise a capsize but I just kept paddling, hoping he would forget.
I can't believe that I have been on the brink of so many water-way adventures for so long, but never ventured beyond our paddocks. To be fair on myself, I was always afraid to be too far from my husband, Anthony, in his nursing home room, just in case he needed me.
For me, this strange new world of not being needed and adored any more is very frightening. Sometimes I feel quite lost. The #Town Around blogging opportunity has resurrected a sense of hope in me - and a sense of purpose.
Kayaking is my first step out of grief. Thank you, Paul and Sonia.