One man's rush to jump on the kayaking bandwagon

I had no idea it was training for something better

While reading this post over at about someone's first experiences with a wet exit, it struck me that my parent's plans may have panned out after all.
My parents wanted me to take sailing lessons, but I didn't know how to swim. We joined a neighborhood pool and they signed me up for lessons. I took to it quite well and wound up joining the swim team. By the end of the summer, I wound up winning an event at the championship meet. I started swimming competitively year round the following year and didn't stop until I got to college.
I never got around to those sailing lessons.
I swam in the days of David Berkoff's rule changing dolphin kick world records where the entire race is swum underwater on your back. I've also done well over a million flip turns. After all of that, getting water up my nose is not something I worry about. I also played quite a bit of no-rules water polo. That prepares you for all kinds of things that result in you being unexpectedly underwater.
My first wet exit was actually quite fun. I had my sprayskirt on, paddle in hand, and just went right on over with no hesitation. I wasn't wearing my PFD, so when I hit the water, I was upside down seemingly instantly. There was no panic. Just a feeling like I'd been there before. I tried a couple of futile attempts at rolling back up, then popped the skirt and floated to the surface.
Even though kayaking isn't exactly sailing, it's close enough. And it's good to know that those swim lessons are finally paying off.
tags: training

June 14, 2007