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The Great In/Outdoors

Finally I’ve mustered up the energy got off my lazy arse and decided to post something. Hopefully this’ll encourage me to do more!

Speaking of doing more, a little while back Anna and I decided it was time to again contribute to our Game of Firsts, and do some things that were not only new to us but also a bit different from what we’d normally do. The Canadian summer was fast approaching the end and we’d not been camping at all, which was disappointing as hell. The one weekend we had booked a campsite for it decided to piss it down, naturally after what seemed like MONTHS of heat and sunshine. We’re not usually ones to shy away from the rain but we weren’t really equipped for it. So anyway, one Groupon and a brewery-sponsored event later, and we were booked to go kayaking and curling!

Kayaking isn’t something we’d really considered before, until some friends went recently and had a blast (even with a hangover). We were damn excited to do it, and despite only being an hour away from home the drive there to a small town called Cheltenham was a bit of a reminder that we live in a really damn pretty country. Once were driven to the spot where we were going to enter the river and got kitted up, it (yuuuup!) started raining. Excitement turned to anxiety pretty quickly as we saw that the river was moving pretty fast, and our first learning effort would be to practice getting upstream to calmer water ASAP, and not stack it into the bridge that was a few meters downstream. Oookay then…

A bit of water on-board and several hundred calories later Anna and I had both made it up there; I used the fact that I’d accidentally beached myself on some rocks as an excuse to sit and rest. I think Anna had a fight with a tree at one point, but we’d done it! Once you got over the initial awkwardness of not being used to controlling the kayak, and the knackering of paddling upstream, it was tons of fun. From that point on it was all downriver; a two hour trip to get back to the town which was a good opportunity to learn control, steering, slowing down etc. The sun came out for most of it too, but rain or sun it was awesome. I’m a bit jealous of the wife being stronger and having a better technique than me – half the time I spent playing catch up but it was good exercise that’s for sure! There were a few hairy moments during the trip (both of us got stuck on rocks further on down the river, and there were some ‘rapids’ we had to navigate) but arrogantly, I’m going to say that we were pretty good at it and by the end knew that it wouldn’t be the last time we’d be doing it!

The following day we were pretty sore, but figured how much effort would you need to go curling? Turns out, a fair bit. The Guelph Curling Club do free intro sessions for beginners, sponsored by the local Wellington Brewery (free curling and a free beer – had our names written all over it!!). Watching curling on TV makes it seem like a really un-energetic sport, but like most things in life, we found that once we gave it a shot it was surprising and awesome.

I’m not sure about how to describe it but in my head it’s like someone put lawn bowls, chess and household chores in a blender and served it on ice (aaah, see what I did there?!). That probably isn’t doing anything to talk it up in your mind yet, but it was really interesting to learn some of the strategy behind it and also that sweeping is EFFING KNACKERING. No joke. It’s also really hard to deliver the curling stone, you need good balance and coordination and uh, well, yeah, good thing we wore ice-appropriate clothing is all I have to say about that!

By the end we were the last group on the ice – the two hours flew by and it was time for that pint!

So out of two completely different experiences we got the same thing. An awesome, new experience! It’s funny how sometimes it’s easy to feel ‘stuck’ in life, and yet it’s so much easier to get over that hump by just going out and doing something new. The Game of Firsts continues…

Lee

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One comment on “The Great In/Outdoors

  1. Well done Lee – great blog !!! Keep it going …… Joan

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