Athens, OH 26 October 2015 –
This semester I have a course load that consists of solely engineering classes, but I find it important to always include something fun in my schedule. This semester the solution was an introduction to kayaking class.
I didn’t have any expectations going into the experience other than learning some basic paddle strokes. This past week, the course has been drastically more difficult than I had originally expected–in a good way.
This past week we were introduced to a rescue maneuver called the “T-Rescue.” The T-Rescue is a way to flip back upright upon capsizing. To do so, you run your hands along the side of your kayak and wait until another kayaker bumps into the side of your kayak. At that point you grab the tip of their kayak with both of your hands and throw your kayak back under yourself. If executed properly, you will return to the upright position above water.
I have found the rescue to be most challenging because of the reliance you have upon another kayaker to reach the side of your boat quickly. The entire time you’re underwater you have to wonder if someone will make it to you before your lungs run out of air. Prior to the class I had never known any of the individuals I had been kayaking with. These rescue techniques required us to quickly grow to trust one another. I found the experience to be mentally challenging; it has also helped me forge new meaningful relationships.