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About Surviving Breast Cancer and Kayak Lessons, What I Learned in a Kayak Course

Life is funny, how it seems to move in patterns, whether it be kayaking or traveling or anything, really... sometimes the theory of collective consciousness seems to have evidence surface all around.

Last weekend we had a new group learning kayaking skills. This time, unplanned and without any coordination, it was a group of ladies from Portland. They did not all decide to come out as a 'ladie's' group or even as a group from Portland... but it turned out that way. They also did not all decide to come as a group of women with histories of major surgeries, but they all were.

These women had all, randomly, been through down times that involved many months, if not over a year and made it through to the other side to enjoy the outdoors and life again.

Teaching this group of women kayaking skills over a couple of days reminded me to enjoy every minute and how lucky I am to be able to spend many of my days sharing what I love with others. For the breast cancer survivor, she was lucky to have early detection that made the process easier (if there is such a thing when you talk about a double mastectomy and light chemo). There she was, out on the water, one of the funnier people that I have met recently, and with so much gumption to learn something new even as her upper body strength is still coming back over a year later. The woman with an L5 Spinal Fusion decided to join us in a hybrid Jackson Kayak made for lakes and rivers up to Class II (one of our rentals). Eddy turns, Peel outs, Ferrying, she got it all in still and had a blast with the rest of us while paddling!

I believe that all of these women will be back and I look forward to seeing them in the Spring and sharing their progress as they move forward, and teaching them to overcome fears and keep going for things...

but I learned that more from them this time. Keep going for things, every day is a gift, don't give up, and don't let people tell you that your opportunities are over.

Happy Paddling!

Bend Kayak School

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