A few days after New Years I came down with a bad cold. It held on and turned into a bad flu - cough, chest congestion… then a lingering sinus infection. It took over a month before I started to really feel better. During this time I did not (could not) get back on the water. I had intended to go to the pool last week on Tuesday but inclement weather cancelled the pool session.
This morning one of my paddling buddies had planned a paddle but my shoulder and neck muscles were acting up so I did not go; I simply refuse to leave the beach knowing I am starting as a potential liability to those I paddle with. I’ve been on muscle relaxants all day and tonight I was feeling much better and so I went to the pool session. Tonight marks only 2 times on water so far in 2011. Last year by this date I had been on the water 12 times (7 pool sessions and 5 times on the salt water). I do hope that this poor start to the year is not an indication of things to come for this kayaking season; some of us count the season from Jan 1st to Dec 31st).
It was good to get to a pool session after my kayak hiatus. I did some socializing of course - it's good to talk to kayak-minded people, we understand each others obsession. I did some rolls and braces on both sides with extended and non-extended paddle positions. These I did with the skirt on and off. I also did re-enter and roll on both sides. I was happy to not have missed any of my weak-side rolls since it has been six weeks away from the kayak and it has not been very long before then that I started to feel comfortable with my weak-side rolling. While doing these drills I was thinking how thankful I was for being able to come to a warm pool on this coldish February night to be able to practice.
Imagine if there were no pool sessions anymore! We have done cold water practices in the past and it is more condusive to be able to go to the pool during the winter to learn and practice skills. I think it is still important to do some cold water practice so you will know what to expect if you end up bottom up or out of your boat if you paddle in the winter months. But I tend to not do many practice rolls or braces in the cold water – a couple or so and I am good... Paddling in the winter I do not mind too much, but that water in winter feels cold, and then when you come up and the cold air hits you…. I’d much prefer to practice in the pool and just paddle in the cold…. but just imagine if there weren't pool sessions any more to practice and learn in comfort.