This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way – bowie
We’ve all heard the quote,”Those Who Can, Do; Those Who Can’t, Teach.” Personally I like the Woody Allen version.. “Those who can’t do teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym.” Well, that certainly fit my middle-school gym teacher anyway.. Buh! I’ve always hated that quote, but sometimes there is a ring of truth in it as well. I mean, there are some careers you’d never take a relatively low paying job teaching if you could make real money actually doing.. As a sea kayaking / rolling coach there is one place where the phrase points it’s nasty little finger right at me however, that’s the Balance Brace. I can teach it, but I’ll be damned if I can do it! Continue reading
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating
in a most peculiar way
- david bowie
So the deal is.. I have to learn to swing dance, and she has to learn to roll. Well, that’s not really fair, I like to dance, and she likes to kayak.. so it’s all good.
So for our first pool session of the year it was time to take my favorite novice kayaker and teach her how to balance brace & roll. Sadly, I still feel like I’m teaching something dark and mystical among the euros and paddle floats of the C2C crowd. Oh, and the secret… Well, we’ll get to that! Continue reading
Time once again to take a break from my own endless chatter and recommend another blog worth checking out. Since I’ve spent a lot of time on traditional stuff recently, now is a good time to send you over to check out Minnesota resident, Christopher Crowhurst’s Qajaq Rolls. I really like what Christopher is doing with his Roll of the Day series. I’ve always thought that one of the best things about the internet is that we can go online and learn just about anything. Of course for this to happen, other people have to go be generous enough to share what they know with little to no financial reward. Continue reading
All the while the world is turning to noise
Oh the more that it’s surrounding us
The more that it destroys
Turn up the signal
Wipe out the noise – p. gabriel
Talking about rolling and body position can be a challenge on land. Inevitably we find ourselves standing there, reaching far over our heads to practice (or demonstrate) paddle placement on the surface of the water, sweeping the paddle, and recovering over the kayak. It doesn’t work, mind you. In fact, the more you ingrain the reaching over your head movements on land, the more you or your students will be reaching toward the bottom of the lake once they get out in the water. Still, there is just something in our crazy brains that makes us want to always reach UP. Continue reading
Everyone teaches rolling in their own personal way. Over the years I’ve learned that as instructors we need to be flexible. While we all may begin with a mental outline that serves us well most of the time, we quickly adjust that outline to fit each individuals needs. Take Helen Wilson for example.. With this student she thought it would help if she dressed up like a big yellow and blue bunny rabbit… Continue reading
don’t give up now / we’re proud of who you are
don’t give up / you know it’s never been easy
don’t give up / ’cause I believe there’s the a place
there’s a place where we belong
Sometimes its only faith that keeps you going; The belief that if you work hard enough, if you face your fears head on, you’ll always overcome. Eventually. That was last night’s pool session in a nut shell. I spent another evening just trying to resurface as my 10-year-old son spent his night on his knees on a diving board trying to make his body fall in.. head first.
On her website, GreenlandorBust.org, instructor Helen Wilson responds to a question about weight and flexibility this way, “With rolling I have found that a person’s size has very little to do with ability. A person’s flexibility however can play a huge role.”. Then she goes on to talk about various exercises and yoga. All good stuff. That said, I don’t really have a “size” role model when it comes to rolling. I’ve not seen anyone 5’7″ and 220 do a straight jacket roll. Not to say no one has, I’ve just not seen it. At 45 I’m pretty flexible though, so if size doesn’t matter I’ll get there.. It’s a matter of faith. Well, to be honest.. I don’t really care about straight jacket rolls, but there are a few more I’d like to add to the my own personal list. Continue reading
Got no deeds to do / No promises to keep.
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you / All is groovy.
- Simon & Garfunkel
There are 2 main ways to approach kayak rolling, the high power, hip flick way, or the relaxed, chilled out way. I prefer to chill out. Both ways work, but the chilled out way works even when you’re just zapped. When it comes to learning to roll, we almost always tend to go for the power. It’s partially animal nature, and partly an expression of the anxiety lingering around because of the fear that you might blow it. Learning to chill out is practically its own step in your rolling progression; “Ok, you’re coming up now. Next we’ll move on to the “chill stage”… Continue reading