Unfortunately, Campbell Walsh is currently busy training, so I was asked to fill in for him by Hannah (@HanT86) and Ginnia (@ginniacheng) as we attempted to kayak for 10km along the River Thames to raise money for the NSPCC as part of Johnson King’s Gold Challenge.
After paddling every way possible, and spending way too much time in the reeds, it finally hit me that this was clearly NOT the way to kayak. I’m not sure if it was the embarrassment of struggling past the stationary junior rowing team for a good ten minutes, or being in close proximity to a dozen terrifying swans, that finally gave me the good sense to paddle straight. Whatever it was has allowed me to impart the following wisdom to team GB (avid followers of this blog) in advance of the summer games:
- Understand the vagaries of the London transport systems so that you do not, under ANY circumstance, turn up an hour late. Granted, we weren’t racing one another (or at least I don’t think we were), but it’ll be fairly difficult to win a medal if you’re not at the event. This would be my no.1 tip.
- If you would like to lift your arms above your head in jubilation after the event without experiencing excruciating pain, my second big tip would be to perhaps stretch a little, or even practise, before the event. Not everyone is as hard-core as us, so be warned, building endurance will help.
- Learn to kayak. If you want a medal, it is important to know which direction you want to go, and actually end up going in that direction.
- Pick your lunch well. Warm mango will not give you the energy to win a race.
- Lastly, karma has a huge role! If you do something as noble as donating to the NSPCC, I’m sure you will be re-paid in gold, silver or bronze! (No promises)