Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cross-training our paddling and coaching

Sharon interpreting daily marine forecasts during a wilderness trip.
This has been an unusual summer for us. Ordinarily, we spend much of the season coaching locally and at symposia around the midwest. But this year, we opted to expand our horizons, literally and figuratively.

Alec and Matt chart a course in the San Juan islands.
We spent most of July in the San Juan islands, paddling in dynamic ocean currents and coaching for Body Boat Blade International; we spent the first two weeks of August on a wilderness trip along the northeast shore of Lake Superior.

John, Sharon and Keith assess conditions on Lake Superior.
Why vary the routine? Three reasons:

  • Paddling with a variety of people in a variety of environments is a great way to gain both knowledge and experience.
  • Coaching with a variety of people in a variety of environments is a great way to challenge our creativity and develop new approaches.
  • Personal paddling complements coaching. It puts everything we teach into practice and reminds us of our goal for our students: enabling them to safely paddle independently.
And besides, we've been longing to do more kayaking on the ocean and with friends!

Leon and Alec play in a slot in the rocks.

We'll devote the next few posts to reflecting on some of what we learned this summer--ideas that have affected our coaching, our paddling, our trip planning or our perspective.

No comments: