Hey Friend, welcome! In this series I share how I overcame obstacles and ventured out on my first few kayak excursions. There were victories, mishaps, danger, glorious moments as well as some great life lessons learned along the way. In the end I climbed the mountain of doubt and uncertainty and gained confidence and achievement. I hope to inspire you to go after your own dreams with courage and creativity to make them happen. Life is too short to only wish for the life you long for. Instead, pick up that dream, dust it off, and start living it.
This is post 2 of 13.
If you haven’t yet, you can read article #1 in this series to understand what got me to this place
of triumph. See the end of this post for a navigation to all posts in this series.
Going Solo for the First Time!
I did it! I went on my first solo kayak trip and felt like Super Woman doing it!
I loaded the kayak, unloaded it, carried it to the lake and back, and had a lovely blast just me, myself and I. Although I did feel a little lonely as I drove to the reservoir alone, once I was on the water I loved the serene solitary time – just me and the abundant wilderness.
I figured out how a lone woman can move and transport a 50 pound kayak and overcame my fear that I couldn’t enjoy kayaking alone. I’m going to share my Super Woman Solo Kayaking Adventure and explain how I did it in case you ever want to go kayaking alone. Or maybe to just send some inspiration your way for whatever it is that you are dreaming of doing.
I learned that if I got creative and was determined enough, I was able to find solutions to what was keeping me from living my dream.
It was October which meant winter was right around the corner. But in my neck of the woods we had extraordinary warm weather for the end of October. I felt a magnetic pull to get in my kayak as much as possible during those gifted golden days. I was dying to get on the water! But no one could go with me.
But before I could ever go alone I had some problems to solve :
1. How to load my 50 pound kayak on and off the top of my car by myself.
2. How to haul my kayak by myself from the car to the shore.
After some determined researching, thinking, and visualizing, I found some solutions:
I found this great article on the web to help me see how to carry my kayak on my own. I’d never considered carrying it that way before! I practiced lifting and carrying it in my backyard until I felt sure I could handle it. And I surprised myself how strong I was and how I really could manage it when I held it the correct way.
Instead of using the racks on top of the Sequoia which would require lifting it up on top which I could not do on my own – I folded all the seats down inside and tried sliding the kayak in from the back while I held my breath. If it fit I was one step closer to going kayaking. If not…no go.
The kayak’s nose almost touched the dashboard and it’s shoulders (do kayaks have shoulders?) were wedged between the two front seats. As we closed the back hatch…it didn’t fit. But when we opened the window on the back hatch, and then closed the back hatch, the end of the kayak barely stuck out through the open window. But the door closed! It would work! I jumped up and down and shouted for joy. My husband and I high-fived. I felt my freedom burst its chains.
This is when my courage had to kick in. Would I really do it? Would I go on my own? Could I enjoy myself on the water ALL ALONE? For a split second I doubted myself and considered not going. But I knew I had nothing holding me back now but me.
Have you ever been in that situation? A defining moment of courage and determination? When your natural woman – the one that likes comfort and security and routine – balks a bit at the idea of stepping waaaay outside your comfort zone. What did you do?
I decided I would go!
I chose to go to Tibble Fork Reservoir. I had been there before with my kids and it was familiar. AND it had many of the elements I consider vital in an ideal kayak destination:
- water is emerald green, clear and clean
- majestic mountains cradle the reservoir
- the shoreline is ringed with trees and living green
I grabbed some essentials (water shoes, life vest, sunglasses, bottle of water, and my watercolor kit) and hit the road.
I was a bit intimidated when I got there and remembered the looong switchback path leading from the parking lot down to the beach. Ok, so it’s not LONG but seems long when I’m hefting a 50 pound kayak. But I DID IT! (huffing and puffing as discretly as I could!)
*Update: This has now changed with improvements to the reservoir a few years later. It’s now soooo much easier and nice to get on the water there now! I’ll cover that in a later post.*
Because it was a holiday weekend there were families dotting the beaches all around the small reservoir so I really wasn’t alone at all. That was comforting. But I was alone enough to feel brave and try out my new courage as well as bask in the sweetness of my solitude.
Once on the water, I paddled like a kid with wild abandon. I drifted as long as I wanted with no worry about time. I pulled out my travel sketch journal and poured my heart out onto the pages about why I love kayaking. What was this crazy passion all about? Then I painted the view in front of me dipping my paintbrush into the water outside my kayak as I painted. It felt very romantic and delicious!
I stayed until the sun slipped behind the distant mountains and a chill filled the air. It was time to go home. With resignation yet satisfaction, I paddled to the shore. I managed (with much grunting and determination) to lug the kayak back up to the parking lot and when I did it felt amazing! I swear epic music was playing in the background with a powerful crescendo just as I topped the hill. Sweet Victory!
Here are three life-lessons I learned when I went out solo in my kayak for the first time. Use these ideas to start living your dream.
Get creative. Research options and think of out-of-the-box solutions.
Be courageous – act in spite of the fear that may creep into your heart.
Be patient with yourself and feel the joy of your accomplishment. Celebrate the baby steps that are taking you towards living your dream.
Hey Friend, what dream is tugging at your heart? What is one thing you could do today to make that dream a reality. Maybe you’re like me and the biggest obstacle to overcome is your own fear. Why do we let fear hold us back from living the life we love? Maybe we worry we can’t really do it after all. Maybe we’ll fail. Maybe we’ll look stupid. It can be scary to take that first step. Do it anyway! 🙂
Determine what that first step is towards your dream and find the courage to take it. Create that victory for yourself!
Read the rest of the articles in this series:
- Pick Up that Dream, Dust it Off, and Start Living It! My Story of Choosing to Live My Dream.
- First Solo Kayak Trip: 3 Steps to Start Living Your Dream
- Close Call to Catastrophe and What I Learned When Things Went Wrong .
- Payson Lakes in the Fall: Finding Places of Connection and Wholeness
- 3 Life Lessons I Learned Paddling Provo River Alone for the First Time
- Paddling Utah Lake: Getting Un-Stuck in Life
- Kayaking the Great Salt Lake: Paddling through a Sea of Clouds
- I Blame Them for this Crazy Obsession
- Chasing the Sun to Sand Hollow Day 1: Why Sand Hollow is One of the Best Kayak Destinations in Utah
- Getting Past Panic at Sand Hollow Reservoir
- Chasing the Sun to Sand Hollow Day 2: The Joy of Being Surprised by the Unexpected
- The One Thing That Makes it Possible to PursueYour Dreams
- Life Seasons: Six Things You Can Do Right Now When Your Dream Feels Out of Reach