Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Well, It Sounded Good at the Time

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Well, It Sounded Good at the Time

Article excerpt

Byline: Susan Stanton, Times-Union columnist

You know how sometimes you agree to do something that sounds like a great idea at the time, but later you ask yourself, "What was I thinking?" and then you realize you don't wanna do it at all but you go ahead and do it anyway because you're too embarrassed to back out?

Those were the circumstances under which I found myself paddling a kayak from the dam at Guana River State Park south to Cap's Seafood restaurant with 12 other women, kayaking novices all.

Judy Allison was my motivation. Each year she does something challenging to keep herself from getting too set in her ways. Last year she spent a week learning how to fly on a trapeze.

I thought I would try something a little less challenging than trapeze flying for my first time out, so when a friend told me about the kayaking trip, I figured it would be my chance to be like Judy and I signed up. The "What was I thinking?" phase hit me when I remembered that, due to nerve damage in my left hand, I had trouble holding onto the paddle when I spent 30 minutes kayaking at the lake in Hanna Park last spring. When I sheepishly mentioned this to my friend, she told me to contact the outfitter to talk to him about it.

When I met with the outfitter, he fashioned a brace for me so I would not have to grip the paddle. He reassured me that the trip was for beginners and further allayed my fears by telling me he would put me in a tandem kayak, "just in case." I handed him my credit card.

That night I had a nightmare. It was the day of the trip and I was totally unprepared. I didn't have any sunscreen, or a hat, or any water or anything I needed to protect myself on the trip. I woke up in a panic.

After a few more restless nights, the morning of the adventure arrived, along with the smoke from the recent Mallory Swamp fire. …

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