This Blog

This blog is dedicated to explorations of spirit, life, adventure, and people. I hope that it encompasses much more than the actions of people, but rather creates a more complete picture of what it means to be an athlete and a person in the outdoor community.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Fitness. Do it.

This is one of the most underrated aspects of kayaking. Too many swims are caused by this, too many epics, too many long, emotionally draining days. 

The body and mind are more connected than people give credit. I have seen people swim and not be able to recover emotionally because their body doesn't recover. If your body recovers quickly, so will your mind. You will still feel strong, you will not feel drained. 
Many swims are preventable, especially ones caused by getting stuck in a hole. There are very few terminal holes, it just depends how long you are able to hold on. Watch this inspiring video of Erik Boomer showing what some fitness can do.

Wikipedia States(do I use wikipedia as a reference too often? ehh, oh well):

It[Exercise]... improves mental health, helps prevent depression, helps to promote or maintain positive self esteem, and can even augment an individual's sex appeal or body image, which is also found to be linked with higher levels of self esteem.

We will probably never be able to make exact connection between self esteem and kayaking ability, but we all know that it is a mental game. Rapids look harder when you are not confident, beat downs seem more serious, and the granite gorges become intimidating and inspire anxiety rather than concentration.

My recommendation is Crossfit.

Crossfit, in their own words:

"Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life, reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist."

Basically it is program that simultaneously improves power and cardio. It does not make you look like a typical meathead. You don't grow huge muscles like you would if you were power lifting, and you don't trim down like you would if you were training for a marathon, but you gain a tremendous balance of power and stamina. 

There is a link on the bottom of my website but there is a caveat. It is hard, really hard. I guess it is really only as hard as you make it, but even just doing the movements with no weight is a good workout. 

I can tell you that I have worked out for a long time and I do half the weight they recommend for the WOD(Workout Of the Day, found on the main Crossfit page). I also stop a lot when the workout are timed because you end of getting lightheaded. 

But the results show. Boofs feel powerful, hole rides are fun and you still feel in control, you don't have to eddy out that much, you can recover quickly, you are calmer, more confident, energetic. It is worth that 40-60 minutes in the gym on the days you don't paddle. 

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