Yesterday evening I was sitting in my backyard, enjoying the weather. The kids were already in bed. It was 20:00 when I thought: I could go for a small kayaking trip…
150 meter from my house there is this small canal, connecting Moordrecht to Gouda and, in the other direction, to Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel. In fact, it is quite a small canal and there is not much to see, but I figured I could take a easy trip to practice my forward stroke.
Efficiency / a good paddling technique is very important, especially for me, since I’m prone for neck pain ever since I got hit by that car in November, 1996.
Standing still in front of a traffic light on my motorcycle, a car hit me in the back with 50 km/h. I hit the asphalt 10 meters down the road, in front of the car which I stood behind just a second before….
The guy told the police he never saw the traffic lights and didn’t even try to break…
Imagine wearing a helmet of 1kg and your head gets such a slap. I remember I was looking at the traffic light and the only thing I saw next was ‘blue’.
That was the sky, I figured later.
I had nothing. “Only” pain in the neck when I get tired, or when I’m not paying attention to my posture, even now, 20 years later.
So that’s why it is very important to me to learn (and use) a good paddling technique. The other day I did not pay enough attention to my technique and the next day I had a bit of a sore neck. That got me triggered to stay alert.
So at 20:15 I was in my kayak and promised myself to go for a short and easy trip to prove to myself that I can pay attention to my technique and that I can do that without having a sore neck, the next day. To force myself to take it easy, I brought my camera; another big hobby of mine.
On the water I immediately knew what I did wrong. I actually noticed it at work as well: My shoulders were tensed and hunched. And I also was pulling a bit too hard at the end of the stroke. For the next 30 minutes I payed really good attention to my stroke and noticed how easy it is to ‘fall back’ in the hunched shoulders / bad technique. I need to work on that.
At the turning point there was this coot with its nest. Having brought my camera with a long lens I spent some time taking pictures of the coot. After a while I turned around and saw this horse playing in the meadow. Took some great pictures of it (click to enlarge)
And by the way: No sore neck today!