Thursday, August 29, 2013

Basics all over again...
So, the rolls have seemed rough and sloppy lately (unless in a Greenland boat). I thought about that and how I used to tell my residents and fellows to always think of the basics. I told them that I more often stopped a medication rather than add another and to think in basic terms (perhaps I digress a bit).

Today, I took the Romany, inserted my closed cell Masik and headed out with a Greenland stick in hand and a euroblade on the foredeck. The rolls were smooth and effortless and, as I analyzed them, I realized it was all about the basics. Since I am more confident of hitting a roll when using the GS I relaxed more and that, in turn, resulted in my head laying way back (I do a very basic sweep roll).

After hitting a few with the stick, I got out my Werner blade and immediately rolled with grace and a relaxed posture. My head stayed back just fine, thank you. I just need to keep all this in mind the next time the roll starts to get bumpy.

Paddle safe...

Friday, August 23, 2013

No Gimmes...
In golf, I guess, if you have a very short putt they just presume you can sink it. You don't even have to put the ball in the hole. Just take the stroke. A give me or I understand it. (But I digress...wait, there is a point to made).

Having rolled my (comparatively large) Cetus MV this past week, I decided to jump into my Romany for some "gimme" rolls (No, the damn seat from Nigel still has not arrived after months of waiting. I used a foam seat and a foam block in, I am digressing).

Out onto Lake Michigan, set up and confidently tip over, and miss the freakin' roll. Is there nothing left to live for? Finally got up right and had a talk with myself. Yes, I explained to my elderly friend, it is a Romany and easy to roll, but there are no gimmes in kayaking. You still have to roll the boat.

I am not dumb, so when someone as smart as myself talks to me, I listen. I paid attention and knocked off a ton of rolls. Turns out the Romany wasn't broken. It is old but apparently still has some rolls left in her old hull.

Paddle safe...

  1. The Time Line...

I was lucky when it came to the timing of my career in cardiology. I began as bypass surgery was being developed and, as a consequence, grew up in an environment of constant challenges and discoveries. I had the first patient in Milwaukee to have an artificial heart as a bridge until (a week later) a proper heart for transplant could be obtained.
As the years unwound, I began doing angioplasty, stenting, pacemakers, heart biopsies and more. It was stimulating and there was always a new fire to fight. Today, in this mornings newspaper, I see where the hospital in which I practiced (and which was a pioneer in all this work) just did its 800th heart transplant. One of the surgeons interviewed indicated how one is expected to survive this type of surgery and how routine it has become.
It was this article that sent me down memory lane and to the appreciation for the story book career I enjoyed. (Never mind that all of these discoveries ignore the fact that they are aimed at putting out fires rather than preventing them). The bigger question that comes up for me is as follows: If we can do all this, why can't I buy (for around $100) an eighteen foot sea kayak that rolls like a SOF, tracks like a train, turns like a bicycle, carries as much as a semi trailer and weighs less than 25 pounds?
Paddle safe...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Today I was helped by DUBIK Therapy...

With decades of clinical experience, way too much training and having been there before, I had not trouble realizing what was going on. The diagnosis was simple: I was in the dumper, and something needed to be done.

I used my medical knowledge, my martial arts training, some info from aerospace medical school, etc. to analyze the situation. Then, realizing I still have an active Wisconsin Medical License, I wrote myself a prescription: D.U.B.I.K.  Sig use liberally (prn). Yes, I prescribed Dumb Ur Butt Into a Kayak Rx.

But how? I didn't feel like lifting the Cetus (I am still sans Hullavator...more on this will follow) and Nigel still hasn't gotten my new seat to America. Hmmm. Well, I took my 13 year old/looks 70 years old (actually, we're the same age if you count kayak years like dog years) Romany and an old formed foam seat that I had obtained before my memory stopped recording such things and headed to the lake.

As soon as I D'd my B IK I knew something was different. I had never sat so low in that boat. It felt unusually stable. Then I paddled and realized I needed just a tad of a back rest. I pulled onto a beach and put my dry bag (was in rear hatch) behind my back and enjoyed a lovely after noon of braces, turns, draws and sculls. I even gave it a go with the big Ikeolos paddle which felt unusually tame. It did drive me nuts not to roll, but I had promised the surgeon that I wouldn't expose his expert weaving to the e. coli soup in which we paddle. Anyway, the cure worked

Paddle safe...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Healing and Moving on...

Last Friday I "enjoyed" the other end of the Dr.-Patient relationship. Actually, I slept through it as a parathyroid adenoma and thyroid nodule were removed (on the left). About 24 hours later I was home with orders not to experience "immersion". The surgeon was, at first, willing to let me get back in the boat earlier if I wore the neck gasketed-garment I had described to him. Then I told him about he e. coli count at our beach and I was dry-docked for a week. I see him Thursday and am prepared to negotiate.

Today I tilted my head back with plans of imagining doing a lay-back roll. Instead, I felt the steristrips pulling on my skin and figured it wouldn't be much fun out there just yet. Still, I have memories of my "pre-op" rolling session in my SOF and hitting all my rolls.

Mow, I am content with ingesting large numbers of Tums to replace the calcium leeched from my bones by the high parathyroid hormone levels. My sleep has been horrible as I am not yet exercising. Still, I am grateful and looking forward to staffing (and learning) at the up coming ICE. But how to fill the time between?

Hmmm: My calendar mentions something about a happy hour for the group over at the university where I teach.

Paddle safe...