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Punctuality is the virtue of the bored. - Evelyn Waugh

Author Topic: Notes from a Septuagenarian Paddler  (Read 43 times)

FredF

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Notes from a Septuagenarian Paddler
« on: February 08, 2020, 04:29:56 PM »

When you spend most of your life trying to maintain a certain level of physical and mental fitness, you reach a point when you recognize you no longer have the strength and stamina--let alone the speed--you once had. I've noticed this especially since turning 70 a couple of years ago. By then, I had long abandoned any hope of running marathons or skiing long-distance x-c ski races as I did in my younger days. I also had ceased training in grueling martial arts workouts by the time I entered my 60s. Yet I felt like I needed a new but less demanding challenge. How would I fill the gap?

I was in my late 50s--better late than never-when I discovered the joys of kayaking and began taking lessons first on the Narrow River and later at the Kayak Centre. Not long after, I began to participate in some of the lower lever RICKA paddles. Although my skills were still rough around the edges and my kayaks were not especially built for speed, I could more or less hold my own with the group. Moreover, paddling with a group helped a great deal to build confidence and improve skills. It's been a great deal of fun and there's nothing like being on the water! I'm grateful to all those who offered helpful tips during paddles and during the special practice sessions. You know who you are!

Kayaking, specifically sea kayaking, is something I hope I can continue for a bit longer. Although diagnosed with A-Fib some 6 years ago, it and age hadn't slowed me down yet. In fact, my cardiologist voiced more concern about my love for a strong cup of joe than sea kayaking. The meds I take for A-Fib do precisely what they're supposed to do, but when I complained recently that I now seemed "to lose steam quicker," he said there was no reason I couldn't continue to enjoy paddling. He recommended I focus more on shorter distances and a slower pace. During the 2020 kayak season, I plan to stick with the level 2 and level 2-3 paddles but continue to participate in practice sessions whenever possible. I'll also be available weekdays. If anyone is up for a leisurely paddle during the week. Let me know.

Meanwhile, I've been taking advantage of the winter interlude to catch up on writing, read, and recuperate from recent prostate surgery. I look forward to seeing you on the water in the coming season.
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Valley Aquanaut
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