Monday, January 27, 2014

Hi...My name is Silbs
My name is Dick.
I am a paddler.
Specifically, I am a kayaker.
I am writing this because I am addicted to paddling.
I hope that this might help someone with a similar problem.

It wasn't always like this. Long distance running, sailing a 42 foot cutter and Judo filled my physical needs for over 50 years before a fractured disc cut a nerve and I lost a good deal of the quadricep muscle in my left thigh. I was suddenly robbed of all the activities I so loved (and didn't realize to which I was addicted) and began sitting in a chair. That's when depression started creeping into my head. I turned to every exercise machine I could find until/ One day, I found myself on a rowing machine...indoors. As I tried to get into the zone(I couldn't) I realized that I could be outdoors doing this.

How about sculling? There is a club here in Milwaukee and they have a boat house on the river. But that is only part of the year and, well, I don't want to go backwards. To make a long story short, I ended up taking a intro to sea kayaking course (which I now teach) at Rutabaga (that den of evil and tantalizing distractions). They say you can be an alcoholic and not know it until you take that first drink. Turns out, I am genetically a kayakholic (my DNA test show I have 4 of the 5 genes).

Within weeks I had bought a boat and went out with my smattering of skills (typical behavior for someone with this disease) and was treated kindly by my Higher Power and paddlers who gradually took mercy on me and became friends. Soon my garage was filling with paddles, kits to build boats, smelly neoprene and other things that began endangering my marriage. Alas, I ignored all the warning signs. I did not seek help. I did not tell anyone that I was hooked. I just paddled and paddled.

I was able to conceal my problem until recently when unusually cold weather and lots of ice conspired to keep me off the lake.

My name is Silbs and I am a kayaker It has been several weeks since my last paddle. At night, when my wife is asleep, I scan the internet for kayak sites, especially ones with pictures...especially close up pictures. I recently have begun noticing that I like sites with boat kits and pictorial videos. I sit hypnotized as pieces of naked wood take on the sensuous form of a kayak and then...OMG, forgive me...this is the best part...a brush of lacquer is s l o w l y drawn across the deck which responds with a deep luscious tint that causes me to stare with lust. 

I know I would be better if I could just go out on the lake. I cannot. I cannot make the ice go away...only my Higher Power can do that. So I sit at my computer, look at pictures, imagine owning all those slender sea-going vessels and write drivel like this. Please don't hate me.

Paddle safe...


Rolf Kristoffersen said...

Thats a good one, look to Norway and my "frozen" paddel experience, just have to get out there.
I feel the same as you, watching internet video of kayaking life behind my wife`s back.

Silbs said...

I cannot imagine what your seasons are like there, Rolf. I do know you have some beautiful places to paddle.

Sarah's Soggy Scenarios said...

Oh Dear! You could try doing what my husband did. He took me out paddling and now I too am an addict with more boats than the afore mentioned husband! The problem he now has is, he can no longer buy one of anything, it has to be two!

WaterMe said...

Argh. I'm not sure if last message got through. If it did, sorry for duplicate. I came across your name searching for Kayaking classes near Milwaukee. I bought a Kayak (10ft) over the past holidays. When I bought it the store didn't have any paddles. Being a total Kayak newbie, I'm not sure of the differences or which to buy. I'd hate to show up for a class and listen to all the jokes about being up a creek....etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and hopefully we'll see you on the waters.