Sunday, May 16, 2021

Nice Intro to the Season

 I've been itching to get back on the ocean in my kayak now that I'm vaccinated.

Bug was occupied all day Saturday, so it was a perfect day to get out. I e-mailed TM to see if he was up for an easy paddle.

We decided to do a paddle out of Bay Campus and head north. It is ocean, but protected. Perfect for a first paddle.

TM got to the beach early and did some pre-paddle noodling about. Apparently he had spent the previous day bending over a kayak doing some boat repairs and tweaked his back.

Once on the water, we took it nice and easy. We mostly chatted about kids and retirement.

It was a very nice way to get the paddle muscles warmed up.

Back at the beach, I did some noodling about and practice some skills in nice safe water. I also wanted to prolong my time on the water as much as possible.

All was well and feeling good until I started working on reverse sweep turns. I must have edged over a little too far or caught the edge of the blade just wrong. One minute I was happily spinning around backwards, the next I was talking to the fishes.

I quickly set up up for a roll; a little too quickly. I got about two thirds of the way up and flopped back into the water laying on my back date.

I briefly considered resetting, and then pulled the plug.

The swim back to shore was refreshing. I was glad to have a dry suite.

Sitting at Fuel after the paddle was almost normal.

There is hope for 2021.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

When Everything Seems Off

 On the mt. bike yesterday, things were just off. I knew from the the first downhill that it was not going to be a stellar ride. The back tire was bouncing around too much; the edge of the track was too close; the turns were jaggy. It was a tough trail, but one I had ridden plenty of times with no issues.

The bridge jumped out of nowhere and I had to stop to make the turn. The low rock wall sprouted new rocks and caught the front tire. The steep, but short, hill turned to scree under the back tire.

My legs were like rubber; my reflexes two seconds slower; my balance was wobbly.

At every "screw up" or missed feature, I was faced with the choice of beating myself up, finding the quickest way back to a paved road, and giving up. There was the voice in my head saying "you're too old for this" "you were never good enough to do this trail" "you're not going to get any better" "hang it up and stick to the safe stuff".

It is easy for me to fall pray to that voice and then the other voice that says "you are not only physically weak you are psychically week" gets its chance to play.

The hard choice is to look the bad ride in the face and make the best of it. Acknowledge the difficulties, make an honest assessment of what could have contributed to the difficulties, and if nothing fits just accepting that we all have bad days. One bad day is not a sign of decline or failure; it is a bad day.

That was the choice I made yesterday. I kept on going. I accepted the missed features, the slipping back tire, the occasional abrupt stop.

There were stretches that were better than others and even the bad parts were better than sitting in my jammies at home trudging through another day of monitoring a bunch of robots process words so the rich can get richer.

This is the lesson I try to impart to the child when she gets mad because she "lost" a skill or spends too much energy comparing herself to kids who have more skills.

We all have off days. At 10 you rarely "lose" a skill (at 50 you might). With practice you can get the skills. If you love doing something , do it.

Do your best not to listen to the voice that puts you down and if you forgive yourself and get back up.

Life is rarely easy. The only way to make it enjoyable is to keep on doing the things that bring joy into the world - particularly on days when it is all a struggle.