Paddling - makes you invincible???

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Mark R
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Paddling - makes you invincible???

Post by Mark R » Tue Dec 13, 2005 8:51 pm

Is it just me, or does being a paddler make you better able to cope with the stresses and strains of life?

This morning the recent downward spiral at work continued...within a few short minutes the umpteenth person called in sick/ dying/ dead, the boss called me in for a 'chat' out of the blue, my line manager emailed me demanding some hefty statistical paperwork, the printer jammed, etc etc etc...I watched the folk that I work with (okay, those few still remaining) running around in a panic, doing everything short of screaming and crying.

In the midst of all this, I found myself - as usual - oddly bemused, indifferent and detached from all of the chaos. Someone actually asked me why I wasn't losing it too. The answer I thought to myself was actually, "What do I care? I've paddled the Rio Patria*, and survived."

Is this just me? Ring any bells?


Mark Rainsley
--------


*Substitute name of any river you care...

andy8dp
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Post by andy8dp » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:21 pm

I've got to agree with you Mark i find that I get less stressed over the fact that the photocopier doesn't work.

My theory on this is that because when we are paddling* we are pretty much totally focussed on what we are doing and as a result we have a regular period when we completely switch off from everything except the next move or the next rapid.

This means that work things do not continuously build up and get us down.

It could also have something to do with the fact that because we have a significant outside interest work is not necessarily the highest priority in life and as a result the fact that the photocopier doesn't work is not worlds biggest problem.

feel free to agree or disagree.

Andy

*Substitute any sport/activity that allows you to switch off for a period of time
Andy

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james fleming
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Post by james fleming » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:42 pm

I guess it’s more of the …I’ve paddled the Rio Patria, and ‘survived’.

I have found that as you take on more and more difficult rivers/rapids and reflect on either what could have happened or what did happen on the river you tend to reflect on what’s important in life.

That and the keeping fit and active makes you an all round better person and able to deal with the hustle and bustle of life.

It’s a stress buster keeping fit and active. But, if you have really experienced a white light at the end of the tunnel or thought this is it…Iam dead…you really appreciate life and know what’s important.

Office deadlines, stats, documents and hectic meetings…yeah all get it done, but all in good time.

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Post by PhilG » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:55 pm

Many people wait their whole lives for the realisation that life is for living not for working.

Knowing this as I suspect most of us do gives you perspective about what is important and those that have thought about this and come to this realisation will also be capable of adapting to and overcoming lifes little obstacles which others react to by getting 'stressed'.

I find that boating, biking etc are a great release from the day to day stuff as they require 100% focus as well as a degree of physical activity that leaves you feeling a good and happy version of tired. A sense of achievement is also a key factor in all this.

So 'yes' it does make you better able to cope with the stresses and strains of life.

Happy Wednesday
Phil G

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Post by Mudflap » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:00 pm

Many people wait their whole lives for the realisation that life is for living not for working.
How true ! I only realised this this year and life begins again I found
Steve

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:21 pm

I did a 'motivational' session today for my new guys (long, long, long, long ... you get the picture .. term unemployed).

They have .. nothing! YET! Wait until I start! They will have .. umm .. something! A purpose .. motivation .. a job would be better though! They will get that too! (even if they don't want it!)

Quote: Many people wait their whole lives for the realisation that life is for living ...

working helps achieve that! Just need to convince them all! AND I WILL!

H - x

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Post by PhilG » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:26 pm

Helen - agree absolutely. Without my job I would not have the opportunities that I do. I also work hard at maintaining the balance between work and 'not work'.

All the best with your group.
Phil G

don't wait for your ship to come in - swim out to it.

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Post by James F » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:29 pm

Absolutely - It amazes me how spaced out people get about things.

I've sometimes thought that paddlers would be good in the special forces. Our Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) includes freezing, starving, extreme stress coupled with a need to stay functional, proximity to actual bodily harm, lugging 40kg of ilogically shaped kit around the countryside, working intuitively with close colleagues and dealing with foreign folk in a calm and rational way - just like the army recruitment advert. Anyone who can get through that and still want more is either a wrong 'un, or better.

(Marlow Rebellion Brewery Tour was ace tonight.)

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Post by Finchy » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:48 pm

It seems from the posts already that the comments have been made by paddlers of a number of years with a few river/costal/etc. under their belts.

On the other hand, I've just got the taste of river running and spend a lot of my working day thinking about when the next time could be. Whilst the club I attend is good and there are talks of a lot more trips for the newer members, I just want to be greedy and go out every week.

I want to get to the stage where I feel work fills the gap between paddling and I can say "What do I care? I've paddled the Irwell*). Maybe then my stress levels may reduce and I'll not be the headless chicken at work.

That was a bit serious for me. Time for a beer!

*This will change as my acheivements grow.

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Post by james fleming » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:56 pm

Good for you Finchy...Keep at it.

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Post by Jim » Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:01 pm

Well I'm certainly not one to fly into a panic over such things but I do find the office irritations mount up and drive me insane, right up to the point where I go home of course.

Amazingly I have had very little 'downtime' since all our computers were upgraded, because what I do is very boring and uses excel and word, the only 2 packages still working. I have however been involved in trying to help other people sort their software issues out, and there is software I should have access to (but use rarely now) which 3 weeks on it doesn't appear that anyone is going to get installed. Any time I need to print any number of drawings the routine I have to go through is laughably complex and generally before I get half way through someone has been to the printer and shuffled all the stuff that has come through already. I get dragged into all sorts of debates about stuff I'm not actually doing because the people doing it either don't know how, or because I had something to do with it long ago. Half of my colleagues are leaving, the other half have swindled their way into promotions. The office is too hot or too cold but never just right and it takes me as long to walk from where I have to park my bike to the office as it does to cycle in from home in the first place.

But at the end of the day I get the hell out of there and plan what to do with my free time, whether it's kayaking, biking, kitesurfing, buggy racing or whatever. Only by fully immersing myself in these various activities (which most of my colleagues think are crazy/dangerous/etc.) can I avoid serious depression. I clearly do thrive on stress but the stuff from the office is the wrong kind and I can do without it.

I definitely work to live rather than the other way round but if I could get rid of the work part...... I would!

JIM

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Post by koesac » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:55 am

I know what you mean Finchy I have paddled for a year now and I regularly find myself counting down the days until I next go kayaking. Which is every Wednesday during term time and some weekends.

Anyway I got a lecture from one of my teachers saying that I should paddle to have a break from wrok and not work to have a break from paddling. To be fair life seems so less important when compared to kayaking.

Finally I paddled the Upper Dart for the first time at the Adverture Paddler's Weekend and haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.

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Post by The Shell » Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:12 am

I hear what you're saying 100%.

But i think some people (myself when i was younger) can rely on being bulletproof.

Suddenly your mind set is that nothing can harm you and the sky...or the green room is the limit and you keep pushing and pushing the grades.

All i'm saying is that it's an easy mind set to get into and when the sudden realisation that you're not i.e. Dislocated shoulder. hits you it can be quite hard to take.

I think all the injuries and deaths in our sport are constant reminders that noone no matter how good they are can avoid the reality of our body's limitations.

That said for me things like work and relationships can always be easily put into perspective by hucking off something scary.
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Post by Mark R » Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:53 am

The Shell wrote:I hear what you're saying 100%.
Erm...are you sure about that?
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James Hartley
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Post by James Hartley » Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:52 am

Modern society is generally over stressed, with the majority of people getting worked up, stressed, heart attack, and then they get medication, and told that gentle exercise is really good at lowering stress levels. (Execise does this by release endorphins in to the body, which is a natural pick me up/high)
However we get something a little bit better, yes we reap the benefits of exercise, and being out in the great outdoors, but because we persue an extreme sport where the potential for harm and death is often actively seeked, it skewers a persons perspective of reality, and what actually is worth getting worked up over, having to make a must make move/eddy on a river where if you don't, it goes very pearshaped, or get upset about a paper jammed printer, it doesn't and can't compare.
Our realty and perspective of risk is a more evolved one that rest of the planet, it allows the calm before the storm
The more apparently complex an act, the more vital it is to search until you find its inner simplicity
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Post by steddyjames » Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:25 pm

I've been paddling for knocking on 10 years.

2 years bumming around paddling and climbing....4years uni...remaining 4 years working.

I now have a potentially very stressful job...without paddling and other sports to keep life in perspective I reckon my dicky ticker would have given out by now!!!!

The small things that seem to have a massive affect on other people just seem to pass me by because I seem to be able to see the bigger picture!!

SJ

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Post by The Shell » Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:29 pm

guidebook wrote:
The Shell wrote:I hear what you're saying 100%.
Erm...are you sure about that?
Yes.

But the subject title and your openning line contrast each other...

I was replying to your post title.

(Slightly tinted view by finding typing difficult at the moment. Bleeding dislocated shoulder suck...perhaps kitesurfing needs more attention)

Also many mountain bikers have the very same conversation as this...funny how so many sports do the same thing for people.
Dont let time take your tomorrows
and turn them into yesterdays.
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Post by Chris E » Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:39 pm

I find this really interesting. I have been in my first job since leaving uni in the summer and it is great watching people get stressed because they have no outlet for their stress. Kayaking provides you with a goal as you learn new skills and a sense of achievement as you push new barriers, not having this would make work far more stressful and who knows - I might end up giving a damn!

I definately think that doing some kind of "extreme" sport or something competitive puts petty stresses in perspective and to leave for a full weekends kayaking leaves you in a good state of mind come Monday. My colleagues who just watch telly all weekend seem to hit the printer more than those who actually get out and do something!

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Post by Zoe Newsam » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:16 pm

More able to cope with stress bacause of paddling? Oh yes.

Air Traffic Control is supposed to be one of the most stressful jobs around- and the training (which I am currently undergoing) is WAY more stressful than the actual job. If I didn't play hard at the weekends I'd find it much harder to handle the ups and downs of my job. You need a way to let off steam, forget about the week and wind down.

Plus, if you're used to coping with difficult & demanding situations outside of work, surely that makes you more able to handle difficult situations and make tough decisions in work.

Zoe

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Post by mharrall » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:24 pm

I think adventure sports help you realise what's really important in life, and they also provide a release from stress. Your probably right that coping with extreme situations helps you bring the hum drum work problems into perspective, but I suspect that the underlying personality to cope is already there anyway.

You do need a good work/life balance to survive these days.
Martin

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Post by Jim » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:30 pm

The Shell wrote:
guidebook wrote:
The Shell wrote:I hear what you're saying 100%.
Erm...are you sure about that?
Yes.

But the subject title and your openning line contrast each other...

I was replying to your post title.
Ryan, that's proof of "no" not "yes". I think you'll find you haven't got a scooby mate! Are you taking strong painkillers for that shoulder perchance?

JIM

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Post by adventurer185 » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:38 pm

OK so life's great when we get to paddle, but what happens when we don't manage to get onto a river/surf for a couple of weeks? Do we then cope worse because we aren't used to it? Withdrawal symptoms? Shaking? Ring any bells?
Addition to adrenaline?
T

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Post by adventurer185 » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:40 pm

*addiction

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Post by steddyjames » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:44 pm

adventurer185 wrote:OK so life's great when we get to paddle, but what happens when we don't manage to get onto a river/surf for a couple of weeks? Do we then cope worse because we aren't used to it? Withdrawal symptoms? Shaking? Ring any bells?
Addition to adrenaline?
T
I get really grouchy if I don't get out doing my sports for a week or more!!!

I also get grouchy if I don't get to another country doing my sports every couple of months.

Maybe my life is stressfull!!!

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Post by The Shell » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:54 pm

[/quote]

Ryan, that's proof of "no" not "yes". I think you'll find you haven't got a scooby mate! Are you taking strong painkillers for that shoulder perchance?

JIM[/quote]

great retort, however not in the mood

later
Dont let time take your tomorrows
and turn them into yesterdays.
LIVE THE GIFT

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Post by Bertie.. » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:01 pm

Paddling helps put things into perspective, which is why I recently found myself laughing out loud in a work meeting where we were discussing whether our branch people were allowed to change light bulbs or not.. I also now don't worry about things outside of my control...

that said, it has also had the effect of focussing my attention on the here and now, rather than looking to the future - rainy day money is generally spent long before it rains if you know what I mean!

As for withdrawal symptons, I've been known to reach a point where I've cancelled everything planned and just gone for a paddle, not because there was a great river to run, or the surf was good, just because I felt I needed to be in a boat.

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Post by Zoe Newsam » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:31 pm

Bertie.. wrote: As for withdrawal symptons, I've been known to reach a point where I've cancelled everything planned and just gone for a paddle, not because there was a great river to run, or the surf was good, just because I felt I needed to be in a boat.
Yup, me too.

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Post by GLC GAV » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:34 pm

Yeah i've noticed this. Around exam time all the other Medics get really stressed out and most start smoking do insane amounts of work. I usually keep pretty calm about the whole thing and just agree with them. and i havent failed an exam yet. Touch wood.

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Post by buck197 » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:56 pm

It may be paddling but it may be your colleagues have very lttle of importance in their life except work. I work to do the pleasurably things in life and I give 100% in my job yet I know there are more important things than the photocopier not working.

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Post by Steve B » Wed Dec 14, 2005 5:25 pm

buck197 wrote:... there are more important things than the photocopier not working.
Just before the office Xmas do? But what will people sit on?
Steve Balcombe

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