Learning to roll

Capsizing in a kayak in cold water isn't really my favourite sport. In fact, kayaking itself is far from the top of the 'favourite sport' list. But sometimes I think you have to put a wee bit of effort into sports before you get completely rewarded. So I signed myself up for a weekend of learning to roll at Glenmore lodge, banking on the fact that early December weather is always minging and I'd be pleased with the excuse to stay indoors.
Queue glorious sunshine and lovely powder snow.
Queue boiler malfunction at Glenmore lodge and ridiculously cold swimming pool.
Hardly a 'safe and warm' environment, conducive to learning new skills. I think it took 'realistic' a bit too far. I don't want to bore anyone with me whingeing about how nasty and unpleasant it was and how much time we spent changing in and out of wetsuits, drysuits and fleeces or stood shivering in the sauna (thank god for the sauna) so I'll just stick with the positives.

  • We had a lovely group and it was thanks to Elsie, Mary and coach Giles (and their unrelenting patience, positivity and encouragement) that I stuck with it for the two days instead of flouncing off in disgust at the first lunchbreak.
  • I might have lost all my kayaking confidence in the first 20minutes of the course (ice cream headaches, water up nose and general bad feeling about it all) but I got it back and then some. For the first time while kayaking I've actually been able to stay upside down and understand where my limbs are, which way is up and how I'm going to get there.
  • They gave us drysuits after the pain of the first capsize. We needed them. And our thermals.
  • I didn't learn to roll but at least I learnt how you're supposed to. I think I got very close to it on several occasions. Maybe just needs a bit more work?
  • Great cake and great dinner, always the case at Glenmore lodge.
I was very jealous of Neil and his skiing on Sunday and it's really hard to stay motivated when you're thinking 'what's the point, I'll never manage anyway'. Part of me thinks I should stick with it. Part of me thinks there's better things to do with my life (like running, cycling, climbing, skiing, swimming... so many things). Maybe for the next wee while I'll have a break from trying to learn anything new with kayaking. I need to learn to love it because of the beautiful places it takes me to and the wildlife I'll get to see. Rolling would be nice but it's not the be all and end all for enjoying kayaking.
Bring on the puffins and otters!


trio said…
Don't think I could have coped with the cold.
kate said…
i'd do anything for a week at glenmore ....but i won't do that ;)
Good work m'dear!

It's not the be-all and end-all, but it does help the confidence a lot. I'll dig oot a few resources and you can have a think through in your own time - honestly, it's well worth pursuing!
Elizabeth A said…
Thanks. I'm actually finding it's completely put me off kayaking for the moment but hopefully that will change when it gets warmer.

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