I LOVE CANOEING!
I know this may come as a bit of a shock. A bit out of the blue. But, I have some news for you. I love canoeing. I LOVE it! I know lots of people at my canoe club have a bit of a love-hate relationship with paddling, where one month you love it and the next nothing’s going right and you just want to throw in the towel. I can completely sympathise with that! I seem to go in cycles of loving and hating canoeing and it generally ties in with my holidays from uni. The first two or three sessions after I’ve come back, I remember just how much I like paddling and how I miss chatting to everyone at the club. I remember how nice it is to paddle and feel the boat sliding through the water, and I remember that I do actually enjoy doing exercise! However, after the initial ‘Yay, I do still very much like canoeing’ feeling comes the ‘Oh wow, how have I lost this much fitness in two and a half months and why the heck am I so SLOW?!’ stage. This is not a good stage and makes you feel like there’s no hope of ever getting back to the standard that you worked so hard to reach in the last holiday. I like to try and move out of this stage as quickly as possible, because it’s just not very enjoyable at all, which is why I’ve been training so much recently.
Finally, finally, FINally, I’m just starting to emerge from this stage now. I’ve regained some of my fitness, I’m getting to grips with my new boat and I’m finding the motivation to try harder in training sessions. At the beginning of the holiday, I was debating whether it was such a good idea to train so much when the training sessions just weren’t going very well for me. I had no energy because I was so tired from work, I was slow because I was unfit and I had no motivation to try and beat anyone around me. I thought it was probably best to drop a few training sessions in the week and just make sure that I put lots of effort into the ones I did do and make them worthwhile. In the end, I decided not to drop any training sessions (unless I had other plans, of course!) so I got into the routine of training every day after work. Although some of the sessions weren’t going very well, it set me up so that as I started to do a bit better and actually benefit from doing more training, it wouldn’t feel like such a time and energy zap because I was already there doing it. Does that even make sense?!
I seem to have fallen back in love with canoeing, which is my favourite part of this whole strange uni/holiday/canoeing cycle. I’ve done two races recently and have really enjoyed both of them, although I haven’t ventured out and raced my new boat yet. There was lots of good competition, which always makes for interesting tactics and just makes for a better race in my opinion. I was talking to one of my friends from the canoe club who also goes to uni, and we both agreed that it’s strange just how much different canoe clubs can vary. He also tried training at a club near his uni and found it was so different to what we were used to, in terms of the type of people there and feeling welcome and generally just fitting in, that it didn’t really make us want to train while we were at uni. I guess that makes it even nicer when we do come home and are able to go to our local canoe club, where we’ve grown up and know all the people there, and just have a right old laugh. It’s the kind of atmosphere that makes you WANT to improve – good, gentle competitive banter and people who care about everything else that’s happening in your life rather than just how many hours training you put in last week.
Anyway, I just thought I’d get all that canoe lovin’ out in the open. I try not to go on about it too much because I know most people simply couldn’t care less, and that’s entirely fair. But every so often, I just think to myself, ‘Oh yeah, I DO love paddling’ and it sometimes boils over and spills out onto my blog, right here. So, there you go. If you ever get the chance – go and try canoeing!
Note – The pictures on here are of me when I was younger, not some random kids that I’ve been taking photos of to put on my blog!