Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Paddling Is In The Doldrums

I have definitely put paddling on the backburner recently. For several reasons.

The Fear Factor:
First of all I'm not to keen paddling in the firth next to my house because Invergordon is a very busy port and I have had close encounters of the big boat kind.
I'm not too keen on going solo anymore as I have a better understanding of the dangers and first hand experience of being caught out.

Getting Fit:
Some friend s of mine had recently discovered cycling and bought some bikes, I believe it was after going to spin classes. Jean and Saunders invited me out on a cycle one weekend. I used to cycle a bit before the kids arrived in 1998 and so thought it would be like riding a bike !

That night I decided I needed to get fit.

On November 1st 2007 I had my last cigarette ! Yes, that's right. My name is Muzz and I am a smoker. I was smoking up to 50 ciggys a week and decided enough was enough.

I steadily built up my cycling and also started running again. I am not a good runner and only ever ran for about a year in the past, this was in preparation for the 1998 Highland Cross.

So, at the moment I am having a day off from running and cycling but that means a bit of maintenance work on the bikes.

Paddling Difficulties:
My paddling remains in the Doldrums as I'm not finding the time for group paddling. My wife is working up north today so this evenings club rolling and rescue session looks doubtful unless I get someone to look after the kids. I work shifts so that has ruled me out of the weekend trips I wanted to go on. Others are possibly beyond my capabilities but it's difficult for me to gain the necessary skills for the afore mentioned reasons.

The Faff Factor:
The preparation and cleanup involved in Paddling is another consideration in my time strapped life. Packing the gear and kayaks into and onto the car ( forgetting stuff ). Driving to the paddling location unpacking, doing a couple of hours paddling and then undoing it all. Driving home unpacking, hosing the gear putting the boat away, drying the gear.
At worst cycling is putting the helmet, gloves and water bottle in the car and the bike on the back, some scoff or energy bars if you want. A forty minute drive will take me to the Wildcat or Learnie. Come home wash water bottle and throw top and shorts into the wash.

Or no driving at all, hit the hills near my house on the mountain bike, a big loop on the road bike or go for a run !

The Way Ahead:
I want to keep my fitness program going and in order to keep me honest I have entered some events. The Glencalvie challenge has been and gone but coming up I have.

Loch Ness Cycle Sportif

Cairngorm Adventure Triathlon

The Charmer

That's August to October taken care of. In July we'll be hitting the south, spending a week doing the mountain bike trails near Dumfries and Peebles.

I am sad that Kayaking isn't getting much of a look in at the moment but this year I am putting family and fitness first. I have even got the wife running, she can do 20 minutes non stop at the moment. I see a marathon on the horizon LOL.

Keep Running, Cycling, Paddling...
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