A Personal Best

We’re not what you or anyone would call “in shape”, but neither are we complete slugs. After a lost summer in 2020 (Weather: much too hot; Isabel: too much work), this summer we’ve revitalized our 13-year-old relationship with our kayaks. Hallelujah! We (well, one of us) can still lift the kayaks onto the car and we (usually both of us) can still get in and out, although it ain’t always pretty. And we don’t always stay dry.

As landlubbers, our fixed cost of kayaking is high. The time to lift the kayaks off their garage-wall holders, strap them into their rooftop holders, drive to a watery venue with a reasonably accessible shoreline, lift them off the rooftop holder and into the water, reverse the process when we’re done, offload the kayaks into their garage-wall holders, and stow all the gear – all that is at least half of the 90 minutes or so that we can kayak and still stand up when we finally extricate ourselves. It would all be so much easier if we lived on the water.

Indeed it would, but we don’t. Not now, not ever. And so we do what we can, and look for ways to make it easier so we can keep doing what we can.


Our exits and entrances might not be things of beauty or grace, but the lakes and rivers around Awatto are worth some effort and an occasional dunking. Think of great blue herons, green herons, cormorants, ducks of unknown species, kingfishers, merlins, dragonflies, floating lily pads, and turtles the size of dinner plates and the size of my palm. And endless reflections that tie together the water, land, and sky.

The Olympics are for only a select few, and fewer still actually win anything. By contrast, the Geezer Olympics are open to anyone, there’s something for everybody, and there’s plenty to go around.

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10 Responses to A Personal Best

  1. Glad you are getting back into the kayaks. We find the “lost time” (garage to car to water and reverse) with our canoe about the same as your kayak hoisting etc time.

    Keeping them someplace at the water’s edge (cottage?) would eliminate that “lost time”, but you’d miss the variety of locations allowed being mobile.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – True enough. If we had a zillion dollars and could afford a place somewhere on the Rideau River, we’d never see anything else.

  2. Excellent “Olympic” event! The demounting and remounting portions of the event are the full body part of the entire sport. Bird watching is an exciting bonus.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – LOL – yes, the getting in/out is most of the work – and maybe not just in kayaking, but also in other human endeavours. Inertia has a lot to answer for.

  3. I love your characterization of the Geezer Olympics. According to that perspective, just getting out of bed in the morning scores points and waking up the next morning may be no mean feat, especially on mean feet. If we cannot hop like Gurdeep Pandher, we might manage the Super Shuffle, just so we keep on truckin’.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – 🙂 In one of his videos I saw a grey-haired woman with a cane beside her, sitting on the edge of a raised flower bed and participating with just her arms. Low-impact aerobics!

  4. Wade Wawryk says:

    Well done, that looked like a beautiful day. Keep it up and the geezering process will slow down.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Thanks – and yes, it was. And warm enough! But it’s lovely to be out on the water, and fun to do it under our own steam.

  5. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – lifting kayaks off the wall and onto the SUV, off the SUV and into the water, out of the water and onto the SUV and off the SUV and onto the wall should be good for flexibility and upper-body strength – isn’t it??

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – It’s a great workout for the person doing the majority of the lifting – not me!

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