Action Jackson

Geez. Well, just the highlights since it’s getting late and I need to eat something.
Went kayaking Sunday!! Finally! Attempted to learn how to roll, with Eric J as my teacher. No whitewater involved; just a nice day at Siesta Key with minimal waves.
The roll is a two-step process: first you capsize, then while you’re upside-down and drowning, you move your paddle (which is parallel to the surface of the water) to a 90 degree angle from the length of the boat and pull toward you, while twisting your hips to rotate the kayak. Your head ends up being the last thing to come out of the water.
[picture] eric and krishen in the gulf of mexico
Eric demonstrates his cross-checking technique. Photo by Cam
Although it didn’t keep me from sucking, I’d like to point out that Eric’s a great teacher: he was very patient and enthusiastic about the whole process. Cam was also a great spotter.
You see, sometimes, after you capsize, you can’t get your paddle in the right position. You’re basically being left to swim with the fishes (and there are lots of them, you wouldn’t be lonely!). Great. That’s where the spotters come in, flip the kayak and save your life. šŸ™‚
Quite possibly the hardest part of the whole experience was capsizing the kayak for the first time. I had to build up my courage for several minutes with Eric just standing there waiting for me to go under. I’m telling you, it’s just not natural.
After 12 near-perfect capsizions (hmm, don’t think that’s a word) — Eric calls it “going turtle” — and 12, um, not-so-perfect rightings, the salt water sorta gets to you. More specifically, in your eyes, down your throat, and in your ears. And it burns. Anyone ever tried to learn how to roll a kayak before? How long did it take? I still can’t roll correctly (but I’m much less afraid of capsizing).
Speaking of burns, my back is on fire. I didn’t realize it until I woke up on Monday morning, but man. It huuuuuuuurts. I think my scalp may be burnt too. This wouldn’t be the first time. Funny thing is it didn’t seem like burning weather. Ah well.
Yesterday was the first work day after the time change. And wouldn’t you know it, I had a ton to work on, and hardly any time to get it done in. On top of that, I was attempting to solve a problem which has no linear progression, so estimating the amount of time required was a difficult task. So I worked from 8-5:30, got groceries with Cam, dropped them off at our respective houses, went to a fast-food restaurant, ate a grilled-chicken burger and got back to work at 7:40. And stayed until quarter past midnight. Skipped the Quake game that my coworkers were playing in. Too much to do. Anyways, I won’t be doing that again anytime soon. This morning I was totally dead to the world. I’m not sure how, but somehow I managed to remain kinda productive. Didn’t get me much closer to the “big” solution, but discovered (and resolved!) a few others.
Kicked a soccer ball around tonight with Hugo and Cam (Hugo’s idea). That was lots of fun. I learned that I am very uncoordinated with my feet. And as a goalie? Well I learned that I am nailed to the ground. And the goal is gigantic!!! Not sure how anyone stops anything (though Hugo suggests there’s quite a bit of psychology going on between the shooter and the goalie, as far as the side the shooter is going to shoot at. I’m not so convinced. Seems to me it’s more like, the shooter shoots and I miss).
In any case definitely a good warmup for tomorrow — I’ll be making the trip up to St. Pete again. šŸ™‚