52 Projects is an adventure in discovery. Every week, for 52 weeks, do something. Something you’ve never done before. Something you’ve always wanted to do. Something that scares you. Something that inspires you. Something that inspires others. Something that tickles your fancy. Something that caught your eye. Something that just popped into your head. It can be big. It can be small. It can be whatever you want it to be. Find out how doing something can lead you to discover things about yourself, your world, your God. Then, come here on Sundays and share it with others. I'll write about mine here, you write about yours on your blog, then use the tool in my post to link to your something. Please feel free to jump in and participate anytime throughout the year!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Week 20: joining group paddles

Kayaking is nothing new to me; I’ve been paddling for a few years now. The good side of kayaking is that it’s a solitary recreational sport. The downside to kayaking is that it’s a solitary recreational sport. I’ve always pretty much paddled alone out on the water which is nice but sometimes it gets a little lonely. I always thought it would be nice to have a group to connect with from time to time. When I bought my kayak a few years ago, I was interested in joining the Philadelphia Canoe Club. Unfortunately the timing never seemed right. As a single mom it was hard to find coverage for the kids and I felt guilty indulging myself for hours at a time away from them. I feel so blessed to be in this new season of my life. The kids are getting older and I’m remarried. I see how much Breen loves his triathlon life and I knew it was time for me to indulge in a few hours here and there doing something that I love to do. As a woman, I’ve spent so much time taking care of everyone else for such a long time. I love doing that but I also have to honor my needs. So this week, after 3 years on the fence, I contacted the canoe club and found out that they were having a local paddle on Saturday from 9:30 to 12:30.

I arrived at the canoe club yesterday morning at around 9:15. Breen followed me over to help me with my kayak (it’s 50 pounds of dead weight). Thank God he agreed to follow me there because when I pulled out my camera to document my first real group paddle experience the batteries died. Breen pulled out his cell phone and snapped a few shots for the posting here today. Our group consisted of about 10 kayakers. At least half of us were there at the club for the first time. We had a great time out there talking and getting to know one another. It was a leisurely paddle on the Schuylkill River. The club house is situated in a 400 year old mill on the banks of the river. I have kayaked on this river before while Breen did open swims. Alone or with a group, I am always in awe of the juxtaposition of sitting in serene water while the trucks and cars and trains go by all around the city.

It’s a little bit of a process to become a member. You have to get the recommendation of three members. It usually takes about a year of paddling with them on their trips, attending meetings and helping with their cleaning up days. Every Thursday night the club meets for a 6pm paddle after work followed by a potluck dinner on the deck. I was invited to attend this coming week but I’ve got my son’s middle school graduation to attend. I’m going to go the next Thursday available. I’m so glad I took the time to treat myself to such a fun Saturday morning adventure. The good news is that you don’t have to be a member to paddle with them but it does have a few perks if you join. I’m going to continue to kayak with this club as often as I can and I’m excited to become part of a community of kayakers.

What did you do this week?


  1. I was so glad we got you in the water baby. I want to go along one of these times!

    Paddle on Jane!

  2. Thats fantastic, Jane! It's so great that your weather has turned around that you can get out there again. I know you were missing it! For us, we have now hung up the kayaks until next spring. It sounds like a great thing to do to participate with the clubs trips. Have fun!

  3. That sounds great! And anytime I get to say "Skoo-cul" in my head is a bonus. Always made me laugh. I used to love to rent a kayak when traveling and take it around for an hour. That's the most I ever did because I was always by myself and didn't know what I was doing, but it's so quiet and peaceful. It's great that you found this little community to join. (It's the meeting regularly with strangers part that'd have intimidated me.) Good for you.

  4. Sorry, I could not post yesterday except for a few comments, but blogger was down most of the day! Anyway, I love canoeing is that very similar to kayaking? What a great workout!