Saturday, April 19, 2008

Not This Year(Me trying to drink the lake)
For the past few years I've been attending QAJAQ training camp on a small lake in Michigan. It has always been a great experience that included meeting new folks, rubbing elbows and Greenland sticks with some of the best rollers in the world and seeing old friends. Thing is, it has always left me exhausted.

The trip to the camp involves a drive of about 2 hours to the car ferry, the trip across the lake and, finally, driving about half the length of Michigan to the camp in the north. I have done it several different ways. One year I took the midnight ferry with Alex. We "slept" in chairs and apparently never noticed a storm we had sailed through. I did not arrive at camp in a totally rested state. I've also done it by crossing and spending a night in a motel before the camp or Sunday night before taking the ferry back.

Some how, the long hours in the boat, the repetitive climbing of the dune on which the camp sits, the quasi camping conditions, etc, took it out of me. To be sure, I could have controlled my schedule, but I hadn't gone there to sit around. (The food, BTW, was superb).

This year, when the announcement came through, I sat with it and weighed my desire to go and have the experience again v. not going. In the end, I decided not to go.

Several factors went into this decision: While I love the traditional paddling and rolling, I pretty much don't get to practice much in my SOF. Rolling in a SOF is the one thing I won't do alone since a wet exit may not be possible in such a tight cockpit. I do have a "bomb proof" sweep roll and hit 98% of my angel/butterfly rolls. Still, if I were to lose my stick and not be able to pull off a Norsaq roll, I would be found hanging in my boat like a soggy tea bag. In any event, I am never going to be one of those guys who can do 40+ rolls, nor do I aspire to do so. Still, my intention is to continue to add some additional techniques on my own.

Another factor was my schedule. It is going to be busy this summer with teaching, symposiums and drives to visit my grandson. I also hope to do a little more camping. An additional factor, this year, is a medical conference in September for which I am the medical director. It is a weighty responsibility, and I want it to succeed.

My interest in QAJAQ continues to be sure. I was delighted that the online issue of Masik carries an article I wrote about last years camp. This year, however, I will be in Wisconsin, doing my thing. Ah, but next year....God willing.

Paddle safe...



DaveO said...

I think we all agonize over the 'annual' events we have on our calendar. The Inland Sea Symposium in Washburn was such an event and it is now biannual,which seems to feel right. I'm just thankful the number of events and activities out there allows us the luxury to ponder decisions like like this.

derrick said...

figures it would be the year I go! man!

RoyM said...

Sorry to hear that Your not going to be there this Year.

Best wishes