Saturday, January 14, 2012

Firming Up Our Stance

Two weeks into January already and I can feel the warm weather and longer days starting to set in on the west coast except...... it has been snowing on and off all day and the forecast calls for more during the week. My back has been responding to treatment and I have been meaning to bring my creative thoughts to reality as well as exploring different forms of exercise (Yoga) that will compliment our kayaking and my running goals this year.

On the advice of our RMT who is also a certified Bikram Yoga Instructor, Robyn and I enrolled in a 4 week basic "Yoga 101" Hatha workshop focusing on the yoga fundamentals of breathing (pranayama), alignment and poses (asana) that will build a strong foundation of the philosophy. Our first "101" session made an impression on us so much that we also attended two all level Hatha classes during the week and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of controlling our thoughts, breathing and learning the limitations that our bodies have developed over the years. I have really appreciated what it has done for my ailing back that I now start my day with 30 minutes of practice that prepares me to tackle the challenges of the day. It's early to tell but I feel that the increased flexibility that can result from Yoga practice will benefit our days on the water. Namaste

For the past couple of months I have been creating in my noodle box (LOL) a pair of  kayak racks for wash downs and rigging instead of using lawn chairs to rest our rides on. So after a quick trip to Home Depot and Capital Iron, I whipped up a couple of light weight easy to use collapsible racks that are in many ways like saw horses but not so clunky to handle or haul around in the truck. Simple 2"x2" pine construction, stainless hardware, carpenter's glue, seatbelt webbing, and a little rope and they were ready in no time.

These should do the trick either at home, RV site or on the beach prepping our rides

OK, many might think that we are "keeners" or some might think we are crazy for wanting to paddle during the winter months but both have us have embraced this passion full on. Every time out we have taken away so much from the experience and in our own way connected with what being on the water means to us individually. The challenges to get on the water even in miserable winter conditions can be somewhat eased if properly prepared for what mother nature has to offer. For many (and us included) the thought of getting wet (feet) while getting in the boat just puts enough doubt in one's mind that opportunities to ride the waves might pass on by.

Another addition to our "Gear Head" wear. NRS Boundary Boots

Solution? Chatting with fellow kayaker (Liz) at yoga last night, it got us thinking that we need dry booties of some sort for the winter. So after having a great breakfast down town at John's Place we checked out the local dive shop but the solution wasn't there. Stopping by Ocean River (what's new :-) to see what they had, we chatted with Peter who is a kayaker and guide in the summer. He personally recommended the NRS Boundary Boots and I have to say that I think he was reading my mind. They fit great in the store and even better at home with our farmer john's. I think these just might be the answer!


  1. HI Mark and Robyn, yoga is an excellent idea. We've found (as we get "older") that we've needed to pay a lot more attention to general flexibility and upper body strength - as much for getting in and out of the kayak as for paddling. This is especially true when you've been in the cockpit for several hours. We find that a routine gentle stretching is making a big difference. "Keen" is cool. :) D.

  2. Duncan,

    Big Grin!!! Can't wait to try out the boots.... maybe even shovelling snow. LOL

  3. Hey Mark and Robyn, great to have you both onboard the blog and looking forward to hearing about your next adventure. Been enjoying looking at the GPS Vis program but my old (10 or more years) Garmin eTrex is not cooperating - it may be showing its age! I'll keep at it. Cheers. Duncan.

  4. Hey Duncan, that's too bad about the GPS not wanting to "play". Do you know what version of the eTrex it is? As for paddling... the weather down here has been pretty nasty so far and we have been immersing ourselves into yoga practice (good timing). It's hard to believe that we haven't been on the water yet this year but we are keeping our fingers crossed for this weekend. Now only if we didn't have to work then we could probably get out during the week between the crazy storms coming on shore. Mark