special moment today.

Discussion in 'Paddling' started by chansta, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. chansta

    chansta keeper of the flame Supporter

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    Growing up, Dad tried to teach me the J. I learned many other strokes but always got frustrated and quit with the J.

    I spent the past 10 days caring for him, during which time he presented me with a paddle, no boat and said "do the J." For 15-20 minutes, we would do the J in an empty garage with no boat. He critiqued my form and let me know when things weren't as they should be. He's not well enough to actually take me out into the water (Parkinson's), so this was the best we could do.

    I left home yesterday, and made a reservation to do an easy 5 mile paddle. Class 1 rapids max as I was just looking to get the J down. The bow wanted to track left (right handed paddler), and I was getting a touch frustrated. All the sudden, it just clicked. Total muscle memory. Paddle vertical, tracing the side of the gunnel, thumb down, slight rudder at the end. Repeat. It got so easy I wasn't even thinking about it and I was in complete heaven.

    The place I rented from set me up with a dry box, so I happened to have my phone with me. I called dad, and paddle with him on speaker phone. I was so damn excited. On top of that, I really did enjoy it more than my kayak. Easier to fish in for sure, as I actually hate fishing out of my pescador kayak. Too cramped.

    I had a good knowledge of strokes prior (sweeps, draws, rudders), so it was really just a matter of combining a forward stroke with muscle memory and a slight rudder. I had previously been doing the goon stroke, which works but has a stop and go motion.

    Today... today was a good day.
     
  2. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Congrats. And a cool way to spend time with your dad.
     
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  3. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    once one learns the process of making the initial portion of the J-stroke parallel to the centerline of the hull(not tracing the gunn'l) the little J that is needed at the end of it to continue straight fwd is so small you soon forget you're doing it ;-)
     
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  4. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    That has to be the best non-emergency use of a cell phone I have heard in a very great while. Nice move!

    edit: I am imagining my son doing the same when I get too decrepit to get out, and it is a happy thought.
     
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  5. snapper

    snapper Guide

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    What a wonderful story. Thanks so much for sharing that. My Dad left this Earth over 35 years ago. He was my biggest mentor and guide in the outdoors. Having the opportunity to still share these successes with your Dad is something I would treasure. I'm so glad you realize what a blessing you have to still be able to do so. All too soon, these important people in our lives will be unavailable in person. I can see that you value him in your life and that's special indeed.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

    snapper
     
  6. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Way to go buddy! Awesome when that happens. :)
     

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