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Old 09-13-2008   #1
brenda's Avatar
bc, CA
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 316
I can't just give up!!!

"crying on the river" spurred me to write this. I have not paddled in over a month. I keep making excuses not to join my friends. I took a nasty swim...well actually Got stuck in a hole for a LONG time. I ended up swimming (which I never do) but after 6 rolls (getting promptely flipped right over again) I still didn't get flushed out. I had to be rope rescued. I did paddle 2 days later and was so nervous, I was flipping in everything. I even got vertigo so bad (probably from rolling so many times) I almost threw up. How can I get over this? I am so embarrassed and have not told anyone. I'm Soooo....sad!!!

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Old 09-13-2008   #2
God Amongst Men
yetigonecrazy's Avatar
Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,988
just take it down a couple of notches and go run some flatwater/class'll rediscover the fun in paddling and then it will all come back naturally.....

"Don't f$&@ing eddy out, just run it! Whaddya doin??" -LMyers
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Old 09-13-2008   #3
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 436
I agree with the above.I swam in a class III that time, that happened to be in the wrong kind of environment to be doing so (i.e. really cold weather/water and a lot of it), so it wasn't like I was pushing my limits. I was just freaked out by the conditions and swam because I was so uptight. Honestly haven't fully recovered from it. Lost a lot of confidence, which led to me lose my roll and made even more swims happen.

The main advice I have is take it easy and build it back up. It got to the point where I wasn't having any fun because I was afraid to roll over all the time. I went from feeling comfortable in low level class V stuff to swimming at playparks and easy class III runs. I am now comfortable to paddle in Class IV again, but I doubt I'll ever get back into running harder stuff again. I did Bailey at the end of last season and swam twice (once in a class II and once in Deer Creek).

It seems to me that some people recover and go on to be really good paddlers. Others it seems like it spells the end of paddling for them. I know people who went both ways and I couldn't tell you what the difference was between what they did. It seems the only thing to try is the old cliche of getting back on the horse, even if it is a smaller more tame one.

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Old 09-13-2008   #4
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1066
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 165
no pressure

Get in a raft or ducky and pilot yourself down some calm water. You will want more actio, or be content--either way you will be happy. Take my friend Paul's advice: get in a pool and stay upside down for as long as you can. Then repeat. In the end, fear is ok, just don't let it keep you from the river.
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Old 09-14-2008   #5
brenda's Avatar
bc, CA
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 316
Thanks for the encouragement! Should I tell my paddling group how I feel or just work through this myself. I have been on the lake many times since and have learn't to off-side roll as well as back deck roll. I think this could have prevented my swim in the hole. I want to have fun again. I used to dream about paddling all the time.
Oh by the way 'randomnature' you must be an awesome paddler if you have been paddling for 941 years. LOL
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Old 09-22-2008   #6
Divide, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 38
Check out Girls At Play. Anne Levesque teaches excellent classes, just for women. She builds on basic skills, catching eddies, reading lines, and the class participants support each other. She has 2 day classes, and trips to Mexico.
If not Anne, then see about another reputable school for a solo class on rolling. For sure, all of the above is good advice. My first 2 seasons were the hardest for rolling. I'm still perfecting it after 27+years at 51 yrs. young. No shit. Listen to yourself. Keep it light. Walk when you feel like it, you can always return. Trust your intuition. Every day is not a 10, so some days are better than others. Bottom line-have fun. It's a journey.
see you on the river.
"79 Blue Bus"
jill tip
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Old 09-22-2008   #7
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 213
I defiantly agree with the electrician that some people can have very similar swims and react very differently to them. Earlier this summer me and two of my friends flipped on the Poudre at high water. I had one of the worst swims of my life and was scared to get back on the water (difficult fear to have when you work on it every day). It has taken me a long time to get comfortable back on the water again and I would say that I do not push things as hard as I used to; swimming is always in the back of my mind. But as time goes on you will run rapids and begin to get your stoke back. The more times you go on the river the easier it will become. I still have to deal with this when I am on the river, but it is too a point now that you just have to silence that little voice in your head. My advice is to get back on the horse as soon as possible. It will be difficult; especially at first the river will be intimidating and it should be. But as time goes on you will begin to remember why it is you are there in the first place. Dont forget that feeling or you may stop wanting to be on the river at all.
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Old 09-23-2008   #8
brenda's Avatar
bc, CA
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 316
Thanks for all the support. Like you "j.tipton" I am also 51 years old. The only difference is I started at 50. (Life does begin at 50 doesn't it!!!) I am ready to get back on the fact I am going to paddle the Columbia Trial Waves playspot either this weekend or next. I live in Canada but it is a really popular play spot and we've met many new friends from Washington and Idaho. Check out this link to see the area. I put some pics in the back of my site: Trail Waves April 2008
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Old 09-23-2008   #9
jonny water's Avatar
Geologist, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 583
I took a nasty swim in the hole at Woodall Shoals on the Chattooga. I got maytagged several times resulting in ripping the bolts out of the hull that hold my cockpit in place then got recirced several times. Nearly drowned. After that, I hung up my boat and said I'm done boating.

Then I met some new boaters just getting into the sport. I decided to take them to the pool and teach them to roll. Practicing my roll gave me more confidence and then taking them out to do some easy sections too gave me more confidence.

If anything, stop boating for a while and think about boating. Visualizing your actions will improve your ability and give you more confidence.

Also, tell your crew how you feel. Get it out in the open. It will pay off.
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Old 09-23-2008   #10
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
You had a rough one. Pretty natural to be spooked. If you weren't scared and apprehensive for a while, that'd be a sign that your survival instinct isn't working as it should.

None of us is immune to misfortune. But I think that most often, the world isn't as dangerous as it feels.

You did what you'd learned to do, and it didn't work. It might take you a while to rebuild that unthinking response. But it's a matter of being on the water and working your way through it, learning to trust your ability and your boat and your desire to be exactly there.

Worth the effort, I think. I admire your honesty and your determination.


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