Today’s Paddle

It’s never difficult to remember why I love the fact that paddling is at the core of my workout schedule. First, there is the environment. I live near the Weedon Island Preserve and almost every morning I paddle I’m guaranteed to see (out of the corner of my eye mostly) rays swimming over the sand flats, mullet jumping, wading birds stalking small fish, or an osprey perched on a piling. On special days (and those are frequent) I see dolphins hunting, traveling and sometimes just playing. Second, on an early morning paddle, I often have the water to myself–even if there are a couple fishermen out, there is enough space for me to enjoy the “solitude.”

But, one of the most incredible things about paddling is how it connects me to the water and to myself. Planting the paddle blade into the water is an act of  union with the water–I feel it through my finger tips, shoulders, back, legs and footrests. The boat is an extension of my lower body and the water is an extension of my arms.

Gliding across the rippled surface of the water, the repetitive, rhythmic motion focuses my mind and my body. There are times when I think about other things–work, my list of things to do, my novel, the flea-ridden cats–but the truly magical moments are those when I’m absorbed in the connection with the water and focused on the movement.

This morning’s paddling workout was in my surf ski and was 60 minutes at a steady, moderate pace. I covered 6.5 miles in that time–not stellar, but not bad for just getting back to a little more serious paddling.

~ by kipwkoelsch on April 29, 2009.

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