Start with the basics

This morning's success was always going to be measured on whether I ended up in the Brisbane River or not. We met at the Indooroopilly Canoe Club for an introductory session under the guidance of Erin Appleton, a past Australian representative and record holder in several kayaking events.

I had been really looking forward to the kayaking session. I've always enjoyed having a crack at kayaking, but never had any real tips on how to do it properly. Even so, I was extremely nervous about even getting into the vessel, as my confidence for anything that requires balance and the ability to hold your own body weight is pretty much non existent.

With Erin's help I finally managed to scramble in unscathed. We did a few different drills in the session and by the time we got to practicing paddling backwards, Erin had worked out that I am very comfortable with my limitations, and commented that she thought I was faster backwards than forwards... Could that be true?

After an hour or so on the water it was time to get out. Again, my stress levels rose, but in the end I managed to execute an extremely unglamorous roll out of the kayak onto the pontoon. I didn't care. I'd gotten through the whole session upright and dry. I wasn't about to spoil it right at the end by plunging headlong into the murky Brisbane River.

While I certainly can't say I've mastered kayaking, we learned the basics of how to paddle, steer and manourvre a kayak with some proficiency, and had the time to enjoy a sunrise on the water. A fantastic way to start the day.

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