It was like falling in love with paddling all over again...
My purpose in life was to be the person who is there everyday in life to coach and lead paddlers, to inspire people from all walks of life and to be there on the water with a smile, encouraging words and listening ears for those who need it.
One day I had a purpose and the next day it was gone, no paddling, no coaching, no guiding and no socialising. Lock-down was real and official. We were all entering the unknown, an experience that no one in this lifetime had lived before. Complete lock-down was a very difficult period for everyone, not seeing family and friends, not being able to do the things we love and being locked up indoors for most of the day. I kept my spirits high with crazy paddling ideas, paddling barrels, barrows and even ironing boards but there's no denying it, I did struggle without paddling. For me paddling is not just a hobby or a job, it is a way of life
Following nine long weeks of no paddling, 66 days to be exact (not that I was counting), the time had come to be released to the water. I watched the update that evening and to say I was excited would be an under statement, the feeling kids get on Christmas morning didn't even come close. That night no sleep was had, I packed up and headed off to the river first thing in the morning.
On the way my mind was running crazy, thoughts of excitement, plans for the day and worries of skill fade. On the river bank my emotions ran wild, my heart pounded, the tears ran down my cheeks, butterflies in my stomach and my body trembled with excitement. I smiled, I laughed and I jumped up and down. The excitement was real...
I got back in my boat, it was far from graceful, skill fade was evident.
I took those first few strokes, with the birds singing, the sun shining and the beautiful colours of the river banks surrounding me. I paddled all day long, with each stroke it felt like I was back there where it began, I was falling in love with paddling all over again.
That little saying of 'you'll never know how much you miss something until is gone' really come to light during lock-down.
As we move forward I will say, treasure every minute spent on the water, whether its paddling with family or friends, coaching, guiding or inspiring. Take photos, make memories and live every paddling day to its absolute fullest. Go out and fall in love with paddlesport all over again.
Covid-19 has not gone away, so please make sensible choices and decisions and follow guidelines, its us the paddlers who have the responsibility to ensure we do what we can to prevent restrictions on paddlesport again. We can and we will adapt to this new normal.
Stay safe and we will see you all soon!
Team LM Coaching