Swimming in freezing water sucks

Last year as part of my degree course I learnt how to kayak. I got alright at it, even taught it over the summer. But since July 2016 I hadn’t been in a kayak or even near water. Today was the first time I hit the water in a long time and it was a bit of an experience!

I was so excited about today, it’s all I could think about during my lecture this morning. The whole point of today was to get a few friends up to a good standard so they can go on a trip to Scotland with uni. After specialising in kayaking last year I thought I’d be a lot more help than I was. 

We got into the kayaks and onto the lake at Llandysul which is our local centre. On a side note the RSPCA were also using the centre and were dragging a life size plastic horse through the lake when we got there which was an interesting sight. Joey, a friend from my course and a really good paddler and instructor, asked me to demonstrate a high brace. A high brace is a technique you use to stop yourself falling over. I of course cocked it up. Within 5 minutes of being on the water I was in the water. It was freezing and the shock of the cold water made me forget literally everything and I ended up taking a swim. Slightly embarrassing but there we go!

After I emptied my kayak and got back in we bumped into the second years from uni who were specialising in kayaking, luckily they didn’t see me swim because that would’ve been awkward. After some more skill work me and Joey decided to run the river while the girls worked on skills some more on the lake. The river was at a good level, it was relatively easy with the flow. The features were all easy to see and the rapid looked pretty tame. 

I should point out that I took another swim on the river. I spent forever in the kayak upside down trying to remember how to roll myself back up, but the cold became too much and I gave up trying to show off. Joey went and rescued my boat, which admittedly took him a while but we got all sorted eventually and decided that we would run one more rapid and then get off the river. Of course I hammered that last rapid, possibly the best rapid on the river too! Joey played on the wave while I sat and watched from safety. I think he did enough rescues for one day! 

I think the lesson I learnt today is to not think that you are ever better than you actually are, or at least keep practising skills that you have or you’ll end up swimming in freezing water and making yourself look like a tit. It was a good day though, it was a lot of fun and I got a pint and a rather questionable pasty out of it! 

Love you, Bye!                                  P.S. Don’t Forget To Be Awesome


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