We all have seen the saying “try something new that scares you” on the Lululemon bags, but when was the last time you actually followed that yogi advice? A couple weekends ago I did just that, I took a white water kayaking course with my boyfriend and another couple. Going into it, and through much of the course, I have to say that I wasn’t just scared, I was terrified! There’s something about water that makes me feel a little extra uncomfortable. I would consider myself a strong swimmer and have never had a near drowning experience so I’m puzzled as to where this fear comes from. Needless to say I faced it head on, and ended up having a wicked fun time!
The course we took is called intro to river kayaking through the company Aquabatics based out of Calgary. For $300 the course consisted of an evening pool session and two full days on the water. All equipment (kayak, paddle, wetsuit, helmet, spray skirt, spray jacket and booties) was included. The instructors were extremely knowledgeable and instilled a level of confidence and comfort immediately. These guys were amazingly strong skilled kayakers, maneuvering their vessels with ease and grace, making it look deceivingly easy.
The first evening in the pool was spent covering what to do when you roll over, because that is simply unavoidable in a river kayak. It’s amazing how quickly fear sets in when you’re upside down in your kayak, holding your breath, water filling your nose, waiting for someone to come help you flip back up.
The next two days were spent on Quarry Lake in Canmore and the Bow River. Once we hit moving water for the first time, it was surprising how little it takes to flip! Hanging out upside down in a moving glacier water river was quite a bit scarier than when we were in the pool! Needless to say, spending hours practicing T-rescues the night before really prepared us for the river.
The two days spent on the river were awesome! Between the seal launches (sitting in your kayak you launch your kayak off the river bank, sliding into the river with a splash), endless eddy turns and running rapids of waves, there was never a dull moment.
I loved river kayaking so much that I forgot about my fear long enough to agree to sign up for another course! Lululemon was right, trying something new that scares you not only adds some excitement to your weekend but it also reminds you how brave and capable you actually are. So whether it’s white water kayaking (highly recommended with Aquabatics) or something else, push yourself, feel a little fear and try something new!