‘Never give up’, my life lesson from kayaking

If one thinks about comfort, the topic of kayaking is unlikely to come up. One is more likely to imagine a nice sofa by the fire with some food, drink and entertainment within arm’s reach, or a little hut by the ocean with a tropical breeze, a cool drink and deck chair. Kayaking, especially my favourite kind that involves going down cold mountain streams, isn’t by any means the definition of comfort.
But it is my go-to personal definition of fun. That was mostly certainly not always that way and there were plenty of times when I was fed up with kayaking and thought I’d chuck the whole thing in, especially in my early years when I was still getting into it and there was a steep learning curve.
I can remember one time when I was a teenager and learning to kayak and my kayak flipped over in a frigid stream. Fortunately I wasn’t alone and I managed to flip my kayak round so that I could breathe again, but that feeling I had under cold water for a couple of seconds was enough that I didn’t want to get back in a kayak for months.
There was another time, about a year later, when I was still not that experienced, but definitely getting a lot better. I was going for a paddle with a friend down a stream with class 4 and a couple of class 5 rapids. Overall it went well, but I don’t think I was able to enjoy a single second of it because I was so concentrated and even somewhat overwhelmed by having to focus so much. While rewarding it took me about two days of sleep to recover physically and in a strange way mentally too.
However, despite some of the more difficult moments in kayaking the challenges certainly make up for the frustration and the energy expenditure. At the end of the day, I’m left with such a rewarding feeling of achievement and accomplishment and very crucial indeed I also have the ability to spend some great time in nature! Not only this, but there are also charity races that I could get involved into.