09 July 2012

Back in the swing?

I expected there would be a 'come down' period after the trip was completed. I've done enough events over the years to know that there is that anti-climax, that hollow listless feeling to follow. There was. 

I'd spoken to a number of people with more exped paddling experience than me, they all needed a period to readjust afterwards. Racing, expeds, whatever - it doesn't matter. It takes a time to readjust after completing the goal.

I had planned to be back in a boat soon after, and I was. I finished on the Saturday and had a brief paddle on the Sunday followed by my first training session on the Monday. Luckily I'm paddling with a good group a couple of times a week at the moment and that makes a big difference. It's hard to resist a bit of a dust up and the banter that goes with it. But for the rest of the week things were a bit aimless and lacklustre, but that's the way it is. There are still boxes of kit to unpack, maps to file away, thankyou letters to write, and bills to pay. There's plenty to do.

The  emptiness was compounded by the removal of the daily routine that had life had become - I was lost and listless now. It was strange to be back in a bed, it was so quiet. I missed that comfy little nest that Hotel Vango had become, my little under-canvas sanctuary. I even missed that daily dawn-chorus-themed alarm call.

You can't help but miss the simple routine that consumed the whole day: food, water, paddle, plan, sleep. Life was not easy but it was simple and uncomplicated. Now I was back in the world there was so much more to do, so many responsibilities and 'important' things to do. But they all seemed so mundane now and to be honest weren't that important.
They could wait, and they did. Some still do...

But tonight we had a good session in the Straits, nothing out of the ordinary but a good session all the same - enjoyable and rewarding.
Justine C, Aled, Big Marcus, Pascale and me - it made for a good group with some good work going on. No wind either!
Good paddlers who you can trust not to accidentally stuff you into the bank at the turn, but knowing full well they may 'squeeze you' all the same. Hard paddling, a bit of gossip, some banter and a few sneaky tactics - all the ingredients of a good sess.

After a downtime it is good to paddle that first decent session, you know things are back on the up, and tonight was it. Back on the wagon, time to get fit and start to get ready for whatever is next.

I'm not sure just what it is yet , but I've started getting ready for it.

1 comment:

Nigel H said...

If you were to attemp the record next year what would you do differently? would you short cut bays or perhaps spend a night in your kayak with an out rigger?
I'm having ideas myself!