Wednesday, October 06, 2010

                       Get Out There
                                   with someone special
We all have our comfort zone and, hopefully, a sense of when conditions exceed it. We all have heard the old, "It is better to be ashore wishing you had gone out than to be out there wishing you had not." True enough, but it all begs the question of how we get better and able to go out it harsher conditions.

The flippant answer would be a little bit at a time, and it holds a lot of truth. The fact is, if you always lift the exact same amount of weight in the gym, your muscles will not get larger. You have to challenge them with slightly heavier weights. You need to lift a weight heavy enough to stimulate hypertrophy and not so heavy that it causes damage. Same goes for paddling.

You need to go out into conditions a tad above your comfort level so that you can improve. You must also avoid going out it conditions that scare you off the water for ever. And, just as you would have a spotter stand by as you bench press that heavier weight, you need to go out there with someone who is already comfortable and capable in those more severe conditions.

The other caveat is that as you achieve a new level you must continue to go out into it (boat in the butt time). Just like the weight lifter who skips workouts and loses his gains, staying ashore too long between paddles will drain your sense of confidence in the new conditions. Practice, practice, practice. Now, get out there...with someone special.

Paddle safe...


gnarlydog said...

Great words of encouragement, Silbs.
But not everybody is happy to push their limits, learn and become a better kayaker.
I know of too many paddlers that have been on the water for more than 10 years and their skill level has not progressed after the initial basic learning (about a year).
Funny thing is that despite wanting and having the opportunity to be on the water very frequently, they can't: their skills are not good enough to go out but in perfect weather.
Silbs, there is only so many "drivers" out there, the rest are just passengers :-)

Silbs said...

Wise words, Gnarly. And, in my judgment, ok to just remain a fair weather paddler. If someone is happy with what they are doing and has no wish to "progress", perhaps they enjoy another wisdom and are happy.

Susan said...

Wise words - and it makes the point that there probably is something for pretty much everybody in the world o' paddling

SherriKayaks said...

I would think a "boat in the butt" would be very uncomfortable. :)

Silbs said...

Good catch, Sherri...and I agree. Now, I have to leave it like that so others will understand your comment.