Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturday on the Kettle

I headed to the Kettle early Saturday morning. My intentions were to dial in my creek boat since I have been almost a permanent fixture in my playboat for a long time. The first run down was just a bunch of fun with some great people. It was good to see Jack and Jeremy down from the frozen tundra of the north. Brian from Mankato did his first run of Wolf Creek Falls. He did it well. Ken and Glen from Wisconsin were up also. We had so much fun the first time some of us decided to run it again. Mankato Dave was filming us coming down Blueberry. One at a time. I ran it last waiting to make sure Dave was ready to film me. As I approached the drop I saw Bobzilla in the hole surfing. I went slow up to the drop waiting for him to see me and then started down. I saw Bobzilla carve right on the hole and thought he saw me coming and was getting out of the way. I went to the left. Oh was I surprised when he came flying back right at me. I saw I was going to be hit with his boat on the right side of my body and from my karate days I executed a "chudan soto uke" which is an inside block that protects the body. This deflected the boat and also rolled me out of the way...which was underwater. No problem. I just rolled up and slid into the eddy. As this was my first "combat roll" this season I can say it was an actual combat roll. Dave has it on video. I'll post it when I get a copy. I was happy to realize afterward that my muscle memory from my karate days still was there. When I used to train all the time I was a basics freak. Even after I became a black belt I always started my workouts with the beginner class. There was two important reasons for this. I believe that in most any sport that basics are the building blocks of advanced moves. For advanced moves to become automatic and without thought you need to do them thousands of times. The second was since you were a black belt training with the newbies it was extremely important that you do exact proper form as an example for the newbs. It forced you to become better and try harder. It's the same for kayaking also. We ended up doing two "fun runs" on the Kettle on Saturday. I was looking forward to Sunday Creek Day!

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