Over the last 2 months, I’ve been kayaking at least once a week. This is an amazing find for me — an activity that combines physical extortion with calmness and pleasure. I love the feeling of gliding over the water’s surface, the control and ease of movements in the kayak, and raw workout for my arms and upper body. So far, I’ve been kayaking on my local reservoir, which is rather small but perfectly fine for my beginnings. I rent a kayak for next to nothing for an hour at the time, and do a couple of circuits around, with some speed runs across the reservoir. My smart fit band tells me that in an hour of kayaking I burn 500 calories, which is a nice bonus (and over the last two months I lost 5 kg and reduced my beer belly). On the water, I vary my speed between slow and steady, quicker and more taxing while paddling against the wind, and high speed when I put my head down and basically windmill my paddle as fast as I can until my arms are dead tired.
Another good thing about is that I can get very close to nature — kayaking over kelp patches, close to and between reeds and overhanging branches. There is plenty of wildlife there too — mostly ducks and mallards and seagulls. Being in a kayak, I can get very close to them, as they seem to ignore it and are not showing fear. Today, for example, I watched a mother duck teaching her two ducklings how to dive, after a couple of tries they seem to be getting a hang of it. Also — it’s the quietness there on the water, something that I love, need, and do not get enough of during the week. Sometimes I just stop paddling and let the kayak slowly drift, and I sit there being immersed in silence. Amazing feeling!
For the next summer, I have already started planning to expand my kayaking hobby: I want to buy a kayak (and I need to decide if I will buy a solid or pneumatic one). Then move to kayaking on different lakes and reservoirs in the area (in Poland, I can just put my kayak anywhere on the water, there are no specific rules or regulations). Then move to river kayaking (first some short one-day trips and then longer multiple day trips with camping).
Two months ago when I went kayaking for the first time in 30 something years, I wasn’t expecting that it will become my new hobby and activity so that I plan my weekends to fit at least an hour in a kayak, but there you go, and I am pretty happy about it.