One man's rush to jump on the kayaking bandwagon

Just another day at the beach

When I've previously taught myself how to do something, I wondered if my ah-ha! moments were blatantly obvious to anyone with experience. I had one of those moments today when I realized that my PFD provides great back support.
During the week, I spend between 12 and 15 hours a day sitting in meetings, sitting front of a computer, or sitting in my car. On weekends, I jump in my kayak and expect my body to do something useful. Sometimes, if I've been able to keep up with my nightly stretching, my body is up for it. Other times, it just won't cooperate.
I drove down to Wrightsville Beach last night after spending most of the day in the car. I didn't sleep well and woke up fairly sore. I took a long, hot shower and did what I could to stretch everything. It must not have been enough. While setting my boat down in the water, my back let me know I missed something.
I tried stretching it out and even got in the boat to see if I could paddle it out, but each breath hurt. After a hour or so laying on the floor, a few Advil, and another hot shower, it wasn't any better and I was ready to give up on kayaking at all this weekend.
After a few hours, I was bored and decided to take another shot at adjusting all the straps on my PFD. I put on my PFD and it came as a bit of a surprise when my back finally relaxed. After a few minutes, it actually felt good enough to give paddling another shot. I was able to stay out for a little over an hour.
In hindsight, it's obvious. PFD's make pretty good back braces.

October 13, 2007