What Now? Kayaking?

As part of the Ski for Light family, I’m always impressed with all the other athletic endeavors my friends enjoy when they aren’t skiing, and until today, I could only claim cycling and hiking to my list of other activities. I can now claim that I have learned to kayak. As you will see in the video if you are reading this on my website, I am in my own kayak, paddling on my own steam, and not tethered to another kayak. This video was taken by my granddaughter from my son’s trolling boat. He kept very close, so he could give me directions to keep from running into the bank or into his friend Terri’s kayak. She kept very close to me on my other side, so she too could tell me to paddle more with the right or with the left to keep going straight. When you are totally blind, you really can’t tell which way you’re going, and “Go straight ahead means nothing when you’re on the water. But I was able to paddle correctly and not tip over, and those two accomplishments made it a successful crossing of the lake.

We were blessed with partly cloudy skies and almost no wind, so the lake looked smooth as glass—perfect for my first solo attempt. I had walked Dora in the morning, and then gave my arms a workout in the afternoon, but with the help of people I love, I made it! And I’m very proud of myself. Who would ever think that at my age, I’d be learning a new sport? It should be a new knitting pattern or maybe the ukulele. But this is way more fun.

Mary Hiland

Author of

The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: a Daughter’s Memoir

And

Insight Out: One Blind Woman’s View of Her Life

Available at www.dldbooks.com/maryhiland

www.seeingitmyway.com

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