Saturday, 19 November 2011

A week of learning...

It's been quite a week. I've been kayaking with Olympic Gold medalist Tim Brabants twice (well, okay, he kayaked and I stood on the bank - well, come on - the water is about 10 degrees. I'm not that dedicated) - once at Dorney Lake and once at Teddington. Dorney Lake is absolutely beautiful - if you've got tickets for next year's rowing, you're a lucky person.


Courtesy: Dorney Lake

Going kayaking (okay, okay, watching) with the best person in the world is certainly an eye opener. This is what I've learnt:

1. The kayak itself is absolutely bloody tiny. Well, it's almost five and a half foot long, but it's so narrow. Seriously, I doubt that I could fit in it with my hips. It's literally razor thin.
2. As a result of its narrowness (not sure if that's a word), it's almost impossible to balance  in. You can see what happened to someone who tried it here. Unless you're an Olympic athlete, in which case you've spent a lot of time practising, and then you're so good, you can stand on it. While it's in the water. Showing off? Maybe.
3. Most of your body is actually not in the kayak. Interesting.
4. The water in the Thames is cold. And not very appealing. And you can tell this just by standing next to it and looking. Believe me.
5. If you want to sport impressive core muscles, the trick is to learn to balance on a swiss ball. Standing up. And then, just to set yourself another challenge, throw a medicine ball about with a friend who is also standing on a swiss ball. And then repeat the whole exercise. Frequently.

I'm beginning to realise why I'm not an Olympic kayaker. To be fair, a distinct lack of talent might also have something to do with it. But I'm focusing on the dislike of cold water. For the time beginning.