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Days of Whine & Roses (oh, and off-side rolls)

Posted Jun 29 2005 12:00am

It don’t come easy,You know it don’t come easy. – R. StarkeyI was just reading another blog from Bonnie over in NYC and thought I would steal her theme. (It’s the least I could do since she linked me!) That’s the neat thing about this blogging bit. I think we can all feed off each others thoughts and ideas and grow out into other perspectives and maybe between us all put together information that may be worth reading about.

When I started this blog, I really had never thought anyone would read it. That made it much easier to just ramble. Now with about 30 to 40 people stopping by the blog each day, and after meeting a good number of you at the Inland Sea Symposium, I tend to feel more pressured to be more useful. Just like Tomas the Tank Engine. By the way, Tomas was great with Ringo Star narrating and continued to be fun with George Carlin, but now it just bites. Oh well, It’s probably about time I find more mature entertainment anyway!Today is my 40th birthday. I know I’m supposed to feel something about that but I don’t really. It did register in my head that John Lennon was 40 when he was murdered and his son Shawn was 4. So now I’m 40 and my son Gryphon is 4. So there is a meaningless yet ominous comparison. I think the only feeling that is lingering is that I’m not looking “young” anymore. Maybe that’s ok. Frankly I’d much rather look like Bono than Mickey Rooney, but I don’t think it’s in the genes. I have that build that seems to be part of the Wisconsin gene pool. We call it “Short and Stocky”. I call it genetic sabotage!

It was interesting to hear Bonnie lamenting blowing an offside roll. I’ve got a friend who suddenly started having the same issue. Now I’m feeling a bit nervous about it myself! They’re psyching me out! This is one of those odd little things about kayaking that everyone experiences from time to time. For awhile Mary suddenly lost here “launch” when doing paddle float rescues. I had half a summer when I suddenly could not pull off a re-entry & roll. I’d get in the boat OK and then just hang there upside-down in the water dumbfounded, and after a few moments of having no idea what to do next I’d have to bail. It’s odd how that can happen. Your brain just randomly constructs a wall and will not allow you to pass. Yet you’ve been doing this every day. It can leave you feeling stunned. My experience has been that you have to just walk away from it. It can be quite a shock when we suddenly lose a skill that we had “hands down”. It can shake our confidence. Normally the first inclination is to try to push through it and keep working the problem. You find yourself thinking, “What the hell is wrong with me?” But each time you blow it again it can just compound the problem. Then when you come back at it another day, you just FEEL you’re going to fail. . . It’s a wicked cycle. Luckily we all get past it. Sometimes in a matter of minutes and sometimes it can take months. Personally, if I blow a move I just shouldn’t blow, I’ll try it one more time and then skip it. I may not even try it again for a week or two. I don’t want that “thing” to start happening in my mind. I don’t want to practice, because whatever caused me to blow it will still be there and I may just re-enforce it. This may be the only time in life I’ve found that for me, if I just ignore the problem it will go away. As Ringo said in Yellow Submarine, “It’s all in the mind”. .

This blog is dedicated to Bonnie & Ringo by the way!!!


First I want to do my bit to help send off “Paddle Press” which is a new paddling magazine. In their first issue I hear they took another stab at reviewing Justine’s film, “This Is The Sea”. I’m glad I don’t have to sweat out reviews! Luckily unlike Hollywood, the paddling press never has a bad thing to say. So everyone go grab a copy of Paddle Press. In our area it’s available at: Bear Paw Adventure Resort, Rutabaga, Carl & John’s Paddlin, Scheels All Sports in Appleton, Watertrail Adventures among others. Thanks to Brendan for sending me the list so quickly!

Also worth noting is that Gail Green & Grant Herman of Living Adventure in Bayfield have put together a very thoughtful review of an accident in Lake Superior last year that has been published in the latest issue of SeaKayaker Magazine.

In the “commercial” realm I can’t help but plug SILVERWAVES. Lisa Flemming & Alejandro Romero have created some of the most beautiful kayaking themed Jewelry you can imagine. Much nicer gifts than that silly kayak magnet!

The Door County Symposium is sneaking up fast. See you there!


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