I spent my summer working for a rafting company on the Ottawa River called Owl Rafting. The environment and scenery was conducive to training as it offered many options, such as: road biking, roller skiing, running, and of course the occasional paddle!
Working long days outdoors makes it hard to fit in all the required training. Especially when there are rapids to play in with my co-workers. The life style and attitude towards training at Owl between the skiers and the paddlers was up for constant debate. At times it was hard for the two groups of athletes to see eye to eye so when I suggested that perhaps paddling would be out of the question due to high hours of training I was scrutinized.
After much talk one brave paddler brought a suggestion to the table. Instead of bringing two cars, (one that would be left at the take out after we finished our paddle and one that we would take to the put in) we would take only one vehicle. The plan was to drive all of our equipment to the put in, hide it in the bushes, drive to the take out and leave the vehicle. From the take out, we would make the 10 km run back to the put in, collect our boats from the bushes and start our dissent down the river. At once a smile appeared on my face as I nodded eagerly, simultaneously the smile disappeared on the paddler’s face.
The run went very well and with only a few complaints we finished in under an hour. The tables quickly turned as we got in our boats. I was in my element for the run, but was as always feeling a little nervous about the first rapid. Let’s just say I am not a pro yet and have many years of practice ahead. I did certainly get a good workout in swimming from one shore to the next along with a great ab workout with all of the “T” rescues performed.
The last week of summer happened to be the week with the most hours of training. Being that it was the last week with the company, I felt a lot of pressure to fit in at least a few more paddles. This became quite a challenge, with work and training.
Not at this level yet, but perhaps some day! I bet I almost had you fooled!
This is really what I look like most of the time!