Monday, August 30, 2010
I've been married for 13 years. And every single year my husband has wished I would agree to a canoe trip.
I've been camping my whole life, but as my husband says…car camping, it's different. To me, it's the only kind of camping
there was, it's the only thing I knew, and liked.
We camped every year on our own and with his family (they're big campers), and I heard all of the "great" stories of the canoe trips.
To be honest, I just couldn't get excited about sleeping on the ground, (we have graduated to a trailer, which in my opinion is awesome!)
digging a hole in the ground to go the bathroom, and hanging your food, so as not to attract wildlife looking for an easy meal.
Well, I don't know what I was thinking this year, but at the very last minute I decided sure we should go and try a canoe trip with my sister and
brother law and their kids in Algonquin Provincial Park.
Since it was so last minute, I didn't have a ton of time to prepare, which I found out you do need. Since everything you bring, needs to be in the canoe with you, preparedness is key. My sister in law helped out where I lacked, which was great. We used their food barrel and she did one of the dinners-excellent.
As I made my "list" like I always do, I was getting a bit excited about this. Maybe this wouldn't be as bad as I thought, until my husband looked at my list (which is the same one I make when we go camping with our trailer) and took away about half of my list!!!
He said there was no way I could bring my pillow. What!!!!! He told me to fold up my sweater and use that, there was no room for pillows in a canoe. I started re-thinking if this was such a great idea.
Anyway, we got ourselves organized, got our canoe and kayak (I prefer to kayak, so we rented a tandem, and my oldest daughter joined me in the kayak), and off we went. We paddled for about 3 hours and I could not believe how sore my upper could be! Even my elbows hurt. My shoulders and back were screaming at me and of course we slowed the group down a bit, since it was mine and the kids first time, we arrived later than planned. We really had to work at finding a camp site. At this point, my body was saying, don't be picking, just take the first one available.
We found a great site, put up the tent and started dinner. We started with a 3 day trip. And I have to be honest, it was pretty good. I had a bit of trouble sleeping the first night--bears were always in my head, but after that I was pretty good. We canoed all three days and I couldn't believe how it challenged my body.
I am always doing something, boot camp, running, biking, roller blading, but when I did this, it was a total shock to my body. It was working in a way it has never done before, and my muscles responded. Even my inner thighs were killing me, from bracing inside the kayak. My abs were tender to touch for 3 days, something I have to consciously work hard on to get the same result from trying something new.
The point of this long story is that your muscles will respond hugely to something they are not use to. Don't wait 13 years like I did. I gave my body the workout of a lifetime, it was definitely a challenge, but a good one. I said I would do it again next year!
If you want to challenge your entire body, go kayaking for a few days, if you are fortunate enough to have access to water year round, try incorporating it into your regular routine. Kayaking every other month will keep your muscles working in a way that's different than your regular workout.
Committed to your fitness success,