I had some canoeing experience as a child, and occasionally went kayaking as a teenager, but I hadn’t heard of white water kayaking until I went rafting in New Zealand, and then saw this video:
How could you not want to learn this?
I’ve learnt an entire new language of strokes and kayaking language, but most of all, I learnt that because I am a girl, and therefore more flexible in my hips, it was a lot easier for me to do a ‘hip-flick’, one of the crucial movements for most rescue moves. It also meant I could lean a lot further without flipping.
I struggled with rolling, the process of flipping yourself from upside down, under water, to above the water, and trust me, I tried many, many times. I hit a brick wall, where I was beginning to feel like no matter what I did, I couldn’t get my body above the water, and that can be really scary when you feel trapped underwater. I had decided that maybe it wasn’t for me since my muscles killed, my head felt full of water and I was feeling really stressed (and awful that I had given up).
Then today, I watched this TED video
If you can’t be bothered watching it, it’s about a guy who got into Yo-Yo-ing, and became a world champion, but realized the world didn’t appreciate his skills. So he took up performance classes and dance, to better his Yo-Yo-ing. It made me realize that this thing that if I pause whitewater kayaking, and focus on building up my upper-body strength, swimming strength, and water confidence, I’m still working on whitewater kayaking, and that I might even be better in the long run for it.