Paddle Your Own

Woohoo! I did another New Activity yesterday… CANOEING!

On the weekend we stayed with some friends and their three crazy kids. We all went to a nice wee loch suitable for unskilled morons, nothing to be scared of. But as soon as the canoe came off the car roof and I got strapped into a lifejacket I froze.

It was only for a second but it was there, automatic and insistent, that old voice in my ear. You’re fat and you’re crap and you’re going to suck at this.

I looked at the little kiddies kayaking and the old dudes fishing; so many potential witnesses to my incompetence. I started stammering my excuses but Gareth is used to the Fat Girl Freakouts now. He said very kindly and firmly, "You’re going to be fine."

And of course I bloody was. Canoeing RULES. And I did not suck. First I went out with Dave and he explained the strokes and I made an arse of my left and right as usual. But then I got the hang of it and went out again with Gareth. And then I got in the back seat and learned how to steer. Which was difficult but still enjoyable. I paddled and paddled til my shoulders ached and today I can yell out like Ringo Starr at the end of Helter Skelter, I’ve got blisters on my fingers! I feel rather proud of them.

Today I am still on some sort of bizarre post-canoe high. I loved being out on the water, stabbing away at it with my paddle. It was so serene and almost hyponotic. Maybe I’ll go all Ray Mears now and cruise down some rivers, or carve my own boat out of a tree trunk with my bare teeth. I just know that I want to do it again. Agaaaaaain!

Now I just have to think of something for New Activity #3.

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31 thoughts on “Paddle Your Own

  1. Woo hoo you. Canoeing rocks. I love it and you’re in a great place for it. I can highly recommend sea kayaking up in the Hebrides.

  2. Rowing/canoeing is such great fun. Anything on the water is fun really. Next time try it with some waves though. Now that’s fun 🙂 NJ

  3. Try WIND SURFING! I know there’s places near you where you can try it, that’s where I did it. I only managed to actually wind surf for about 40 seconds before I flopped back over and got trapped under the sail, but it was AWESOME!

  4. Canoing is fun but I think you might enjoy kayaking also! It’s totally solo (though, if you’re a bit on the scardy side, like I was at first, go for the open cockpit so you won’t feel like you will get stuck if you tip over but – even then it is fun once you figure out how to slip out!)

    You can also canoe solo too, you just have to ride the boat backwards! It’s kind of fun and it’s nice to be able to go out by yourself also… (though, make sure there are people are around as I almost got knocked over by a water spout, and no one would have seen!)

    anji

  5. I have a good activity for you to try – horesback riding! That’s a fun one!

    Canoeing is fun – canoeing in a wee loch would be really cool – I love Scotland… *sigh* (we went there on our honeymoon)

  6. ummm – I meant HORSEback riding. D’oh. yeah. Sorry ’bout that. Amazing what a little typo can do to change the meaning. *blushes*

  7. I second that on the kayaking — I think you would really like it, too. Plus, once you are comfortable with lakes you can crank it up and do some open ocean kayaking. It is exciting and scary at the same time! Okay, technically I’m still scared of this, but really only because I live on the California coast where surfers sometimes get eaten by Great Whites (okay, just mauled, not actually eaten.)

  8. Niiiiiice! Canoeing IS fun. Unless you have a small child paddling with you, in which case you have to do ALL the work. Bah!

    Your’e getting more daring – I’m look forward to new activity #3. Hmm, perhaps sky-diving?

  9. Cool! I know that feeling, we used to go Kayaking at the beach, sooo much fun! Great you gave it a go and enjoyed it…. wonder what next???

  10. Woohoo, sounds fun. I’m always scared of boats, there’s so much potential for things to go wrong esp with small ones. Maybe I should try to get over it.

  11. WHOO HOO! I want to try canoeing too but can’t find anyone else interested. How awesome does it sound and I reckon I know what kind of high you’re talking about from doing something new, go you!!

    LOL at “Fat Girl Freakouts”. My partner has learned as well 😉

  12. Canoeing is so nice and peaceful, isn’t it? I second (third?) the recommendation that you try whitewater rafting now…a really different kind of boating experience! Oh, and I’m so with you on the ‘fat girl freakouts’–my first reaction to ANYTHING new is exactly as you said: ‘you’re fat and you’re crap and you’re going to suck at this.’ Who knew it would take our minds so long to catch up to our bodies??

  13. Omg canoeing! I’ve tried Kayaking and absolutely loved it, and that was back in the days when I was at my blubbery best and rolls of flab spilled out over the sides of the whole you sit in. Mmmmmm… marshmallow stuffed kayak, the newest delicacy?

  14. Hello Dearest

    I suggest that you try kayaking too!

    Having kayaked for the first time whilst on camp in 2005 at Narrabeen, I got a taste for ‘paddling my own canoe’. At least I was in control (ha,ha! at that thought). It was fun and I had the most amazing ‘roll out of the kayak’ style of exiting – much amusement to the kids and my colleagues.

    Whilst at camp at Killalea State Park with the students this year, we all went kayaking and canoeing on the Minnamurra River – absolutely beautiful setting. I was eager to go kayaking again – it was even better the second time around. I had found something I absolutely love! So much so, I didn’t want to hand over the kayak to the older kids so that they could have time on the water as well.

    One of the other principals took pity on me and gave me her turn in the kayak – whoo!!!

    Next goal for me will be kayaking on the ocean…

    Congratulations….so glad Dr G understands FGFs.

    Love you
    Ma

  15. Congrats on the new activity! You can combine your hiking and kayaking for a lovely weekend break.

    Aimee

  16. Just a thought for another new activity: Trapeze!

    I took a lesson in a park in Melbourne during the summer of 2006 and had a total “Fat Girl Freakout” complete with crying. Then I pictured a story in the Age with my picture and the headline “Chubby American Girl chickens out on trapeze” and I went for it! It was amazing! A GIANT step out of my comfort zone, but one I will remember always. If there is a circus skills school in Edinburgh, you should totally check it out!

  17. I got a new activity for you! Sun beds! Or at least self tanning lotions!

    Tis gonna be boiling hot when you’re here ;)!

  18. Canoeing is fantastic, very relaxing i did a lot while on camping trips in B.C. kayaking is also nice, especially if you have people trust issues like me 😀

  19. Imagine that, from the girl who never works out, the girl who is terrified of exercise of any kind, who has almost let her fat consume her to the point of hardly even moving … And here she sits, proudly paddling the canoe.

    See … a little progress again. You’re constantly finding new FUN ways to stay fit, and it’s a better life now isn’t it?

    I envy you that, and strive to get there. You are a great inspiration.

  20. That sounds like a ton of fun. I have wondered what it would be like. The closest I have came is a paddle boat years ago (like bicycle peddles) it was fun till we went to come back in and my poor knees started to scream. Even so I still want to do it again but not go out so far when I do.

  21. Egad, girl. I tremble at the thought of canoeing, too, not because it sucks but because one time I fell out of one into a lake of leeches. Leeches. So even though your lovely account of overcoming trepidation to brave the wee loch was inspiring and happy, I still got shivers.

    But I’m glad you enjoyed yourself. 🙂

  22. Sounds like you had a blast! I canoed once when I was really lardy and still loved it. I wish there was water near me so I could do it again and pump up my arms/shoulders/back/abs. Talk about an upper body workout, huh? So glad you had fun.

  23. cheers for the comments and suggestions, groovsteroonis!

    Argy – I’ll give the fake tan a go but I will not lie down on a cancer bed! Eeek!

    LEECHES, Erin? you poor traumatised thing! that sounds awful!

    i have to admit every time i saw a stick in the water i thought it was a crocodile. never been out on the water before, you see; and forgot i wasn’t in australia. heeeeeeehehhee!

  24. Congrats on the new activity. It’s always fun trying something new!

    Like someone mentioned before, try Kayaking, it’s so much fun, especially if you love Canoing!