5….4….3…..2…..1….Flip the Kayak.

Last weekend I found myself upside down under a kayak. On purpose.  For a grown woman who still has to plug her nose with her fingers if she goes under water, this was a big feat.

Over the past couple of years I have joined Carefree Adventures on a handful of kayaking adventures. When I saw that they, along with Medicine Hat Paddling Club, were offering indoor lessons, I figured it was time to up my skill level.

Usually, on these outdoor adventures, I am trailing behind everyone as I try to take video and photos. No one is close enough to see me awkwardly maneuver my kayak, or sneakily flip my paddle around when I realize it is upside down.

The next thing I knew, I was in a pool with a great group of people, all of whom are more advanced than I am. Within 2 minutes of launching my kayak into the pool, I was upside down, escaping from my boat.


Then, I did it again, with a kayak skirt attached.

And again, this time pulling myself right side up using the nose of another kayak.

I got a kick out of watching the poor young life guards at the Family Leisure Centre. Many in our group were determined to push themselves.  Attempts at full rotations ended with multiple quick breathes as they plunged back under.  The life guards were intrigued, but nervous, and jumped off of their perch more than once! And yes, there were successful full rotations.

Joking aside, the lessons were very safe.


I could have easily passed up on the chance to push myself.

I could have let the chance of stormy weather be a good excuse for chickening out.

My habit of winter hibernation could have taken over.


But, I went. And the boost of confidence was worth it!

The Medicine Hat Paddling Club hosts all sorts of lessons and events and Carefree Adventures runs a variety of tours in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

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