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A personal revelation on the water.

April 27, 2011

It was Easter Sunday and I was out paddling in Sussex Inlet (South Coast NSW). I had just launched into the Inlet and decided to head out into the St Georges Basin. It’s an incredible body of water…. and incredibly large  !! I normally go up and down the Inlet but this time I felt like a change of scenery. I paddled for a while and remembered why I liked the Inlet so much. The narrow bends provide a sense of direction and distance…..something lacking in the open water of the Basin. If it wasnt for the Endomondo application on my Android – I probably would have experienced a sense of aimlessness in that expanse of water and likely given up early in the paddle.

(I’ll tell you more about the Endomondo application in my next post but this picture is courtesy of the app).

Anyway – after about 30 minutes of paddling I found myself round a point and in a broad shallow bay away from the fishing boats and feeling like I was alone in the wilderness – so I sat and took it all in….and it got me thinking….. and as my thoughts rolled and evolved…… a decision was made.

I needed a goal. I needed a cause. I needed to push myself and reach for something seemingly difficult outside of my professional career. Winter was also coming and past years saw me going into early hibernation only to emerge fatter, softer, and lamenting my laziness…… The Hawksebury Canoe Classic was one of those “to do” things on my mind and in that instance – I decided I needed to commit !!

Well it was either this or the Kokoda trail in PNG – but to be honest, the thought of me getting stuck up a mountain in the tropical heat with mosquitoes and leeches  *shudder*.  Kokoda runs 96 km mostly in a straight line, but up and down steep inclines like a stock market graph and even though I feel an affinity with the country having traveled there a number of times with my lovely PNG born wife, the truth is, walking up hills aint a favourite past-time. I walk up a well-known hill (read mountain) in my suburb that the local exercise junkies love to run up and down every day – and I can be fine until I get to about the fifth last step – and then like magic, those last few steps literally suck the oxygen out of my lungs and leave me gasping for air for a  full five minutes at the summit. I think I’ll feel more comfortable on the water, wedged in my Tsunami 165 Kayak paddling by moonlight…. well let me repeat that assertion again after I complete a few practise runs in the Lane Cove river by night 🙂

We’ll cover my fear of being alone on dark still water at that time…..

By the way, this is a Tsunami 165 kayak....and yes it's yellow !!

The Hawkesbury Canoe Classic is a fun paddle with a serious purpose. Each year around 600 paddlers travel 111 km under the light of the moon to raise money for the Arrow Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation to give hope to people suffering from diseases treatable by bone marrow and adult stem cell transplants.”   I lifted this straight for their web-site – and yes you read that correct, it was not a typo – that’s a whopping 111 km ….. and yes that’s by moonlight !!

I also wanted to do something that incorporated a charitable contribution and in my opinion, this Foundation is very worthy and suitable cause.  Stick with me – and I’ll elaborate more on this in a future post.

At this point, I reckon some of my friends will think I’m mad and suffering some mid-life crisis, others will think I’m pulling some lame joke, and the rest will think its a typical Stelzer hurricane of enthusiasm which will wither and die as the winter cold sets in.

I discussed it with Eileen tonight and she thinks I’ll give it a good nudge – and at this point – my wife’s confidence is all the encouragement I need…

…but just to be safe – I’ve started this Blog to chronicle my personal odyssey into the training regime (both mental and physical) necessary to complete the race. I don’t just want to enter the event – I want to compete in it and finish it.

I figure this Blog will help me enormously on that journey.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen Lynch permalink
    May 1, 2011 10:27 am

    Hey Mickey,

    This is awesome – thank you, I have loved reading about your adventures on the water tonight. My friend Anthony Dean (batman from my party) is also doing something similar on the water.. I think he has joined a rowing team and is competing..

    Good for you and I have now subscribed to your blog & P.S. – love the photo of you above especially the lips…lol

  2. May 21, 2011 1:02 pm

    “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”, Lao-tzu.

    Well done Mike, the decision to commit is that first step, once you have that firmed up, the rest of the work will follow. The Classic is a big race with some real mental challenges, but that just makes it all the sweeter when you finish it. Good luck with your training, you’ve made a great start. Cheers – FP

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