Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Feeding the Soul

Troubling times are upon us.  Between the winter blahs and the turmoil of US politics, our hearts and souls are under assault.

Now, it is more important than ever to cultivate joy in your life.  Get outside! Spend quality time with loved ones! Do activities that energize and renew the spirit!
Getting some fresh air is sometimes all that we need to reset.
Taking a vacation is one way that we recharge our batteries.  Take a mental daydream for a moment and think of your last vacation or trip . . . .  As you put yourself back on that vacation, do you feel the stress of the world drift away?
My mental daydream puts me on the Owhyee River - the Grand Canyon of Oregon.
The desert landscape intrigues my brain, the quiet soothes my soul, and the whitewater invigorates my body.
Unfortunately, we can't always be on vacation so it is necessary for us to cultivate soul feeding activities into our daily lives.  Build 30 minutes into your day for soul feeding activity.  For me it is a run, bike ride, or surf session.  Find what works for you and do it!  Do it solo or bring along your kiddos, dogs, friends, coworker or significant other.
Jeff joins me for a "$hits n Giggles"mountain bike ride.
Find ways to avoid excuses - time, weather, distance, deadlines, responsibilities.  I challenge you to get your act together and make it happen.  Here are some tips that I find helpful:

1.  Find a local trail, walking route, waterway, gym, or pool in your neighborhood or near work.

2.  Schedule the time into your day like you would an appointment.

3.  Enlist someone to hold you accountable.  A buddy can go with you, can encourage you to get out the door, or check in with you at the end of the day.

4.  Always have you gear bag packed ready to go.  Throw in a rain jacket and rain pants or what ever you might need for the weather.
My surf kit ready to grab and go.
Feeding the soul keeps the heart alive.  It allows us to live and to love.  We need to do it and need to encourage others to as well.
Surfing waist high waves on a rainy day.  Photo by Jeff Laxier

Friday, February 3, 2017

Rolling Rolling Rolling

The kayak roll is one of the most essential kayak skills for whitewater kayaking, rock gardening, and surfing.  I will never forget the hours and hours that I spent learning and bombproofing my roll.  Nor will I forget the first time I successfully rolled my kayak in the surf.

For paddlers interested in paddling whitewater, rock gardens, and surfing; we recommend learning to roll as early as possible in your paddling career and working with a good coach.  We caution against learning layback or Greenland rolls initially.  We have encountered too many paddlers who have learned the standard layback roll and have it so ingrained into their muscle memory that they find it difficult to adopt other rolling techniques that are safer and more effective in dynamic water.  Continually we see them going back to the layback roll that they first learned and failing, failing, failing in situations where the roll counts.

Teaching the roll from the beginning is definitely not one of my fortes.  I enjoy coaching tune-ups and have a keen eye for technique and small nuances that can make one's roll more efficient.  I am always on the watch for more tools for my rolling toolbox.  Recently, I came across a 3 part instructional series on the kayak roll posted by Glenmore Lodge.  Dave Rossetter has a very good rolling progression that coaches and students alike will find helpful.  

Here is Part One.

Here is Part Two.

Here is Part Three.

I hope you find these helpful. Roll on!