Kayaking for Klutzes

Kayak GirlI’ll come right out with it: I am athletically challenged. It has been a lifelong affliction. When my mother confirmed I was a breech birth, it came as no surprise. I think I vaguely recall tumbling around in there, trying to get my head part aimed down. I couldn’t get the hang of it. My left knee had become hooked over my right elbow. Aiming my tush part out seemed like my only option. It was the first of many humiliations.

The world is not sympathetic to the athletically challenged. We bunters are picked last in baseball. We, the flotationally challenged, do not make the swim team. I cringe to recall a bloody run-in I once had with a box horse at Eastwood Collegiate. (It was an evil box horse, a relative of that car with an evil mind of its own that Stephen King once wrote about. It had it in for me. It won.)

So when my husband – also known as Kayak Guy – began pestering me to enrol in Beginner kayaking, I felt that old familiar feeling known to klutzes the world over: Dread. This was going to hurt. The box horse in my brain snorted in anticipation.

“Dear God, just don’t let me be the worst one,” I prayed as we waited for our instructor to arrive. I believe I actually heard Him chuckle. As if. The student next to me mentioned she’s an avid hiker who plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next year. I sighed, and switched to my survival prayer.

2009 08 11 Judy kayaks_croppedK.G. snapped this photo of me from his kayak. I am at least afloat in the boat. Yes, I look intense. You would look intense too if your mind was screaming: “Look out. Look out! You are going to crash into the teacher’s kayak!!”  Which I unfortunately did. Or rather, which the evil kayak did, with me as its terrified hostage. The instructor was very nice about it. She said it was OK (although I saw her scanning her boat for damage with a strained look on her face).

That was two days ago. I would have typed this yesterday, but I could not turn my neck to the right. Pinched nerve. Today it’s a little better, thanks to the miracle of muscle relaxants. Soon I’ll be back to normal. As normal as we klutzes get.

© 2009 Judith Millar. All rights reserved.

 Any kindred spirit klutzes out there? What’s your worst calamity?

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9 Responses to “Kayaking for Klutzes”

  1. Roger Says:

    I’m an avid kayaker but most of my Klutz moments happen on land. Just the other day I had dropped my wallet in the kitchen next to the table. When I bent down quickly pick it up, I realized my arm was to short and hit my face on the kitchen table.

    I’m staying in the Man-cave, its safer.

  2. Joanna Mallory Says:

    Most of my klutz moments are verbal.

    Thanks for the giggles, Judith. Those inanimate objects can be evil indeed!

  3. David Fraser Says:

    I didn’t get picked last for teams but I do remember the parallel bars, the uneven bars and the high bar all of which turned me into a soprano for a few weeks in high school. Go to the Broken Islands; I highly recommend them for kayaking.

  4. Beth Says:

    I remember that box horse!! It got me a couple of times too 🙂

  5. Judy from Qualicum Says:

    Brings back memories of my one & only kayak lesson in Tofino. Beautiful on the way out, the wind changed on the way back. Tough going & scary for a beginner. I made it, but haven’t been back out.

  6. Gayle Says:

    Hey: can I relate to all this….

    My giggle for today!!! (~o~)

    My latest klutz–I was leaning over the deck trying to pick a thistle from the garden and went heels over head into it…in my night gown….what a shot for a neighbour to see…Too bad they moved to B.C.

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