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Thursday, April 21, 2011

“ Mentalling"

Well this may be a ‘stanism’ …….”mentalling” …. but because this is my blog I figure I can have my own ‘ism’s’. Well of course there is mentoring but in my context you need the mentoring to get the ‘mentalling’. When you paddle with those who have been before, you are very apt to get something out of the experience and more oft than not it is one of those wisdom gems that seem to make you wonder why the heck you hadn’t figured it out already. Courses do that too.

Someone once told me that river boating was for the younger crowd. Well my file footage bags to differ. Now I remember Des saying when we hit terra firma that it feels a bit more cramped in there, but lets face it, we never seem to stop growing. This is Des on the Terra Nova River in Newfoundland during one of our kayaking retreats. Appears as at home surfing here as he would on the ocean which I believe is his preference. Though I cannot speak for him.

Malcolm shown here with Des, his constant paddling partner, is one of those mentors whom can relieve some of those ‘mentalling' issues. Has on various occasions offered a few gems of advice that have enabled me to approach something differently and most likely and importantly more effectively or efficiently. Mostly to do with paddle strokes and combinations and when various ones are effective when used together. He may not remember or I may have received it at one of his presentations but my point is  that it has helped me around the mental struggle with a concept.

So we know as kayakers that skill development is ongoing like it is in most activities. Brian Smith seen here with MArk Dykeman taught me a very simple thing this day we were on the river at Terra Nova for a lesson and I was able to apply it to sea kayaking as well. It simply was to exert pressure on the thigh braces for good contact and then RELAX. You can’t imagine how significantly that simple piece of advice has changed my comfort level in river kayaking and sea kayaking conditions. It is very easy to tense up and try to control the boat all the time but sometimes it is good to let the boat do what its design was engineered for. Loose lips may sink ships but loose hips, I believe, keep them afloat. 

So now when I find myself getting way too tense in conditions, I loosen up and let the boat do some of the work if not all while allowing myself the ability to exercise further control when  I need to. Not only does this make for a comfortable paddle but it reduces injuries do to over exertion and tension. From me simply, paddle hard, paddle safe!

Oh yes did I mention there is an iceberg not to far from this spot on the ocean side. Well there may be more when we return here next month. I also mentioned in the last post that all our snow was gone. Well it returned overnight. I think a bunch of kayakers have to get together to exorcise winter.

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