Kayaking for the soul
Most activities require that you concentrate on what you're doing.
Going down a black diamond ski run (or in my case, the bunny hill) requires your undivided attention so as not to smash into a tree or another skier. Doing flips off a high dive (or in my case, a back dive from the side of the pool) demands that you stay totally focused.
Baseball, soccer, basketball...you name it. You need be aware of your teammates.
Even while doing aerobics you have to stay somewhat in sync with the other members of your class.
And there sits my big problem. Lately, no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to stay in sync with the world around me for any significant length of time.
So you can imagine my joy when I was given the opportunity to go kayaking again, an activity that requires little or no concentration.
In fact, it is the lack of having to think of anything at all except the serenity spread out before me, that makes me wish I lived closer to a lake so that I could start every day in this manner.
Now, don't get me wrong. You do have to concentrate (a little) while taking the kayak down to the lake so that you don't drop it on your toe. And you have to be careful while climbing inside in order to avoid tipping over.
But once in the seat, with your back resting comfortably against the cushion and your hands gripping the oar, you simply have to move your arms in a repetitive motion and the world is yours.
The paddling becomes automatic. Your brain automatically shuts off. Worries and cares disappear for a few hours.
How could they not, when you're in the middle of Mother Nature? Birds skittering on the top of the water. Your kayak skimming over plants, creating a whooshing mantra sound. Wispy clouds in the sky. The sun beating down on your legs and arms.
A perfect setting for reflection.
The moments you want to remember stay with you, those you want to forget, easily slip into the lake and drift away.
Your body and soul are rejuvenated.
This recharging usually lasts twenty-four hours, giving you enough concentration power to make it through the day.
If you're lucky and live near a lake, you can do it again the next morning.
Me? I live too far from a calm body of water. So, I'm concentrating on making this a reality.