The Ups And Downs of a Paddling Blogger

Sea, Land and Sky - a lone paddler contemplates his place amongst the elements

Sea, Land and Sky – a lone paddler contemplates his place amongst the elements

I’m often reminded of how paddling defines, and is defined by, the nature of the individual paddler. People take on kayaking or other past times with a goal in mind – perhaps a return to the natural world, or a personal fitness goal, or even as a social connection to others. Like any pastime, it has plenty of positive enthusiastic people and a few knockers as well, who all come together to form the whole of it.

Even at an individual level you may find yourself crossing the line between positivity and darkness. I find kayaking both meditative and cleansing, washing away the stresses of corporate life and family. Yet on occasion life still gets me down and I too can be drawn into the negatives and politics of paddling. Such a thing happened this week.

It’s the first time I’ve allowed myself to be drawn into such negativity for well over a year, but it did reconfirm to me what I value from the sport of paddling. For me it is the personal release from the pressures of life, a way to immerse myself in my environment, a shared activity with friends, and a way to exercise that is possible for someone with my significant injuries. I am surrounded by friends who are positive well-rounded people who understand the pressures of corporate life and bringing up children and who embrace the small windows of opportunity we get for our paddling passions. Our paddling is about joy, happiness and balance – if that’s not for you, then perhaps you’re reading the wrong blog.

This week’s video is simple, joyous paddling. I was with a friend (a relative beginner to paddling) showing them one of my favourite paddle spots. There’s no crazy footage, no incredible skill sets, no chest-beating shenanigans. Just me finding peace and happiness with a paddle in hand. And not a dashboard camera in sight. Cheers, FP

The Fat Paddler by Sean Smith