After returning from Wal-Mart I
Eliza told me she brought two kayaks to the campgrounds. We were free to kayak anytime we wanted and I wanted to right now. But while I was totally pumped to get out on the lake, on a scale from one to ten, one being: not at all and ten being: consumed and miserable by the mere possibility, I felt about a "six" concerning Getting Caught Doing Something Stupid While Learning to Kayak. Because statistically, the chances of me publicly embarrassing myself on a normal day are above average*; throw learning a new skill, balance, and water in the mix? It's like a perfect storm.
*Just ask my sister about the time I tweaked my shoulder performing the Roger Rabbit during a dance off with my six year old nephew. Some call it "over-committing" but I say "it's impossible to over-commit when dance off bragging rights are on the line."*
Eliza and I walked around the lake to where the kayaks were stored and I made absolutely sure that she knew she was going to have to go first to show me everything. I wanted to watch her get in the kayak and paddle before I even attempted such a feat. Mostly I was concerned with tipping the kayak, but only because leeches.
Just as we reached the kayaks, Eliza's husband John and her two boys (middle school aged) pulled up in their truck to say they were running an errand. This arrival turned out to be the saving grace of this whole experience, because as Eliza was flipping over the kayaks and telling me all the Very Important Needs to Know info about this venture, I realized my kayak was filled. with. bugs.
Now, you might be thinking, keeping with true Sublurban Mama form, that statement might be a bit of an exaggeration and maybe there were like, three crickets up in that thing. You would be so wrong, friend. As soon as I saw all those creepy-crawly things I immediately stopped hearing Eliza talk and this happened in my head.
"Duuuuuuuuuude. I can not get in there. Oh.my.lanta. I just ... can not. There are: one, two, three ... six freaking daddy longlegs. Is that a cricket? Nope. That's at least five very active crickets. And that thing? I don't even know what that thing is. I'm going to die. How rude would it be to ask Eliza to switch with me? Could I do that? She's already taking me out on the lake in her kayaks ... and that's super nice. I don't know if I can do this."
Then John broke in with some really helpful information.
John: Did you know that Daddy Longlegs are one of the most poisonous spiders, but they can't bite humans because their legs get in the way.
Kelly: Dude, that's awesome. *eyes kayak nervously* So, I'm not going to die when all those spiders attack me? *probably looks like I'm about to cry*
John: *a married man who correctly assesses when a woman is about to lose her hold on her calm, detached manner, calls to the truck* Hey boys, come catch some bugs.
Did you audibly hear angels sing from heaven when he said that? Because I assure you, the angels sang.
When those darling manly men captured all the bugs and left me with a safe kayak, I
Kayaking was so much fun! Honestly, Eliza and I were chatting too much and the lake was too small to really go anywhere, but we paddled around the lake a few times. I only ran into her four times, totally pseudo-yelping, "DUDE! I'm going to run into you because I don't know how to stop/steer properly/understand the physics of using a paddle yet!" every single time and apologizing because I'm polite when I crash into someone with their own vessel.
|Just another tranquil day on the water, with me kayaking like a boss. No biggie.|
|This is what the fulfillment of a life goal looks like, for those of you taking notes.|
That's really the moment, surviving the absolute worst kayaking could throw at me, I knew kayaking could be my thing. Even three days later when my sunburned shins started peeling like I was supplying a dandruff commercial because I never thought to pay extra sun-care attention to my lower legs, instead focusing on my face, ears, and hair part, I knew I had the potential to be A Kayaker.
So, thank you Eliza (and John and the boys) for a lovely time on the water, and for helping me get one step closer to finishing the Summer of 2012 Bucket List.