This coming Sunday, I have to go down to Owings Mills for work. The following Saturday, I leave for British Columbia. The Saturday after that I participate in the Canadian Surfski Championships in Squamish, British Columbia. The Saturday after that, I participate in the Blackburn Challenge in Glochester, Mass. I would not be exaggerating to say that these are the two most important and highest prestige surfski races of my life.
I obviously need some way to stay in shape while I’m down in Owings Mills, which is why I’m going to drive down with my bike on my roof rack. There are practically no paddle options within a reasonable distance of Owings Mills, except “Liberty Reservoir”. There are only two problems with Liberty Reservoir:
- I’d have to buy a yearly pass from the City of Baltimore. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve given enough money to the City of Baltimore and I would be happy if they never saw another cent from me.
- They require you to sign an affidavit that your boat will never be used anywhere except their reservoirs. I’m not about to sacrifice a boat for them, not even my ancient V10 Sport club which I haven’t paddled in two years.
Also, because I’ve got an early flight on Saturday morning, I’ve put my colleagues at Owings Mills on notice that I’m leaving no later than noon on Friday. I repeated this over and over again when we were planning this visit, and I’m still anticipating a fight when I need to leave, because 2 out of 3 times I go down there nothing actually gets done until the Friday afternoon. That’s going to be their problem, not mine.
My problem is that even if I leave on the stroke of noon, I probably won’t be home until nearly 8, and I’ve got a 6am flight the next morning. That doesn’t give much time to get all my kayaking and other shit together for the flight. And also I want to get some last training paddles in this weekend including the Sunday before I leave for Owings Mills, which means it’s going to be tricky pre-packing my kayaking gear *and* making sure it’s somewhat clean.
As well as the logistic problems of getting back from one trip and immediately leaving on the other with completely different packing parameters, I also worry about the fitness aspect.
I’ll probably get a couple of long paddles in before I leave for Owings Mills. Then when I get there, really the only option for fitness will be bike riding, as I’ve said before. Bike riding isn’t great preparation for paddling, but it will at least keep my cardio fitness up. I’ll bring some rubber bands and I think the fitness center at the hotel has some hand weights, so maybe I can do something for my core. I have this mental picture of me taking my paddle into the hotel pool and trying to do stationary paddling in the pool, but I doubt they’d allow it.
Then there are going to be two travelling days, Friday and Saturday. Then family visiting (and the fun and logistics of trying to visit two close family members who live an hour apart and refuse to get together at once place or the other) for several days. I pick up my rented surfski and have a short race on the Tuesday before the champs. Then I’ve been promised that there is some sort of down-wind paddle going on on the Wednesday in North Vancouver, and I’m hoping to scout some or all of the course on Thursday, then a rest day and then the race. Then Sunday I’ve signed up for a clinic with Sean “Prawn” Rice. Then Monday travel home, and get ready for Blackburn the following Saturday. Phew.