I have paddled almost every day for the past two years. Last Thursday was the first time I got back in my boat after my two-month trip to Europe. Holy Shnikes! That about sums up the reaction of my nervous system and muscles.
While I was in Europe I knew that I would come home out of shape. What I did not plan on happening, especially after spending the entire time coaching others and learning so much through watching, was to come back and be so shaky. I felt like I was learning to paddle all over again! I was stern happy and catching edges all over the place. I could not control my angles for the life of me. And my new paddle– now a long straight shaft instead of the previous short bent shaft – threw me for the biggest loop.
While relearning to paddle is a daunting task, there is a bright side. After being out of the boat so long my paddling is purely instinctual. It has given me a chance to go back to my personal habits and reevaluate what I need to focus on and make new habits of.
I have also found a new respect for the other paddlers that I train with. What we do is hard. It is hard fitness wise. My muscles are screaming at me. It is hard technically. I can’t seem to control my boat right now. It is hard mentally. Realizing how much I have to work on and doing it from what feels like the very beginning is daunting.
While my new found respect is showing me how hard my goals really are to achieve and my old habits are showing their true colors I am excited to step up to the challenge. This should be an interesting end to summer training.