Thursday, June 26, 2008

Instant Success...
No Matter How Long It Takes
Yesterday, Sherri was kind enough to ask me to assist with a class in introduction to recreational kayaking. We were on a river and not in sea kayaks. Still, the joy I realize from teaching was there as it always is. Seeing a student "get it" is a high for me. It was so in medicine, Judo, photography, anatomy and physiology and, now, kayaking.

When they first get onto the water, I always ask them to take a moment and store away a memory of how they feel in the boat at that time. I let them paddle a bit without instruction (other than what I'd covered on shore) and watch as they struggle to make the boat do what they have in mind. I am sure that at those times the kayak feels as unresponsive as a log washed ashore. The class passes quickly after which I sit quietly and watch the amazing progress they've made and the joy they take in actually getting the boat to do what they want.Near the end of the class, I ask them to recall how they felt in the boat and what they were able to do and not do just a few hours before. I honor them for their success. Then, I send them off with the advise to experience a lot of butt in the boat time. Practice, practice, practice...just as I did with my medical students and everyone else who has ever allowed me the privilege of being their teacher.

Paddle safe...

1 comment:

DaveO said...

One of the finest moments of last years paddling season was when GalwayGuy hit his first roll. Watching folks improve and reach milestones in the sport are one of the most satisfying aspects.