My first kayaking experience

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I was so excited this morning when I got up to be going Kayaking at the National White Water Rafting Center.  I could not contain myself!  I have been looking forward to our lesson this morning for a couple of days now.  Of course, I always have to be insanely early when we have an appointment or a super awesome lesson.  So, I made my husband leave the house with me really early.  We arrived at the NWRC about forty-five minutes early, so we had time to walk around, explore, and see the other cool activities there is offer.  I was blown away by how much you could do at this place, there was no way we could do them all in one day.  Before our lesson, we were already planning another trip back to go mountain biking!

ImageFinally, the time was here and it was time for our lesson.  We met our instructor, and he helped us pick out the appropriate kayak, and he helped us suit up with all the gear.  They actually didn’t have a skirt that fit me, so I had to put my life vest on really tight so the skirt wouldn’t fall down.  The first hard part to conquer was carrying our kayak down to the water.  I struggled with this, because I found it hard to get my shoulder in the right place, but I made it down to the water!

ImageThen we were in for a little bit of a surprise.  We thought we were getting a flat water kayak lesson, and we were actually getting a white water kayaking lesson.  So we got in our kayaks, and he brought us out to a calm kind of bay.  Our first instruction was on what to do if the kayak flips.  I am thinking in my head “RUN GET OUT OF YOUR KAYAK!” (Yes, I am a big scaredy cat in case your wondering).  I made the instructor flip my husband first, because now I wasn’t so sure I wanted to be doing this. So, I watched, and I was freaking out.  I did not want my kayak to be upside down.  It took the instructor a couple of minutes to convince me that I was going to be okay.  I finally let him flip me, and it wasn’t so bad minus that water gushing up your nose.

Next up, was how to get out of your kayak when your kayak flips.  I was good at this.  He told me that I was really quick to get out of my kayak.  Then of course, you had to learn how to empty your kayak when it is full of tons of water.  Not too bad.

The next part of the lesson was where I struggled most- steering my kayak.  I looked like a dog that didn’t know how to stop chasing its tail.  I couldn’t quite figure out how to steer the boat straight.  My husband and the instructor made it look so easy.  In fact, at one point I got really frustrated.  With a little bit of encouragement and instruction, I finally got a hold of steering and could somewhat get my kayak to go straight.

Next up was edging!  I loved this, because it was all core work.  By the end of these exercises my core was burning!  We even went into some water with some current to practice edging toward the end of our lesson.  At first, I was not so sure if I was ready for this and may have persisted a little.  I would have been completely fine staying in the calm water (again I am a HUGE sissy, but once you get me to do it I am completely fine).  When practicing this I accidentally flipped my kayak, and then had to get out to empty my kayak of all the water.

At this point, I was completely exhausted.  I needed to refuel.  Once, I got back in the boat, and I was ready to go the instructor informed us that it was time to head back in and conclude the lesson.  I was glad, because I was really thinking about lunch.

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I survived!

All in all, we had a great lesson, and I really enjoyed myself.  I do not think I will be heading out into any rapids anytime soon, but I definitely want to take some more lessons, learn more about the sport, and just get more comfortable being in a kayak. I also really want to try recreational kayaking (maybe practice my steering A LOT!).

Have you been kayaking before?  What did you think?

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