Power made Perfect in Weakness.

Posted: January 19, 2011 by Sean Fitzgibbon in Expeditions, Florida Kayaking, Kayak Safety

Hey Fellow Waterlovers,

Just wanted to post a quick rundown of my 30 mile training run from Saturday January 15th. First let me start by saying I had to psych myself up all week to do this- I was even going to write a post about mentally paddling the course in my mind- of course that ended up staying IN MY MIND and did not make it to the blog. Oh Well- I guess a little slacking is ok before the real work begins.

I began the paddle at around 7:oo a.m. just as the sun was rising, at the VA boat ramp in Seminole, Fl. The weather was in the low 60’s and the air was still. I paddled the first 3 miles and was feeling quite strong for being on the water so early and not really being warmed up. So I decided to push on for 5 or 6 miles before I took my first break. As stated before by Jeff in his previous post I was training “El Solo” so every 3-6 miles I was texting or calling both Jeff & my wife Shelly to check in with them and let them know of my location and progress. I stopped at mile 6 at the Park Blvd. boat ramp for a short 8 minute break & to eat some pears & a couple of Granola bars.

After that I pushed onward to mile 12 and stopped for another tummy fueling. I stopped at the Bellaire Bridge & checked in with another text. It was at this time that the Mental Mind Games started & I was trying to figure out how to cheat on mileage- after realizing that trying to paddle around for 3 more miles to try to reach 15 miles( the turnaround point) at the 12 mile location would still put me 3 miles short at the end! NOTE TO SELF: Stop Thinking & Start Paddling. I slid back into the kayak and proceeded on another 3 miles to the 15 mile turnaround point according to the GPS- just south of the Clearwater Bridge.

I saw a Southern Atlantic Stingray on the way back through Clearwater Harbor- he appeared to be extremely cold and swimming at the waters surface as if to say ” Can you put me in the kayak with you, its soooo COLD in the water!”

I hit the 18 mile mark on the way by the Belleaire Bridge again and stopped for a 15 minute break to eat some peaches and a Breakfast/yogurt bar, then continued on to the 21 mile mark. Got out to stretch again for 5 minutes in the mangroves/mud beach section, then pushed onward headed toward my goal.

I continued on and took another break at the boat ramp at Park Blvd. again(24 mile mark) to add clothing; as the sun was blocked out by the clouds that had rolled in & the temps. were dropping. The wind had picked up also and I was beginning to feel the Chill as well as the Burn from 9 hours of continuous paddling & use of the same muscles!!! I managed to burn out the last 6 miles within about 2 hours even.

I actually shaved off 4/10ths of a mile on my way back and had to do about 3 large circles about 100 yards off the boat ramp at the VA to get to the 30 mile mark. I called the wife & Jeff & let them know I was D-O-N-E-done. The GPS said 30.2 miles when I text the picture to Jeff & a few other paddling peeps.

What did I learn after doing this solo-

*Don’ t STOP and THINK, KEEP PADDLING.

*Sometimes a long solo trip is just what you need to build your confidence & clear your mind.

*When you are at your weakest, God gives you more power to push on & Get ‘R Done.

*Remembering  to HYDRATE sometimes takes a back burner to the thought & effort you are putting in to your paddling and destination.

*Once finished it really was not all that bad, & I can’ t wait for the next 30 mile run.

2 Corinthians 12:9 ” My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness ” This was on my daily devotional calendar the morning I left, I felt it was encouraging for the days Long Training Paddle ahead!!!!

Don ‘t Think, Just Paddle!

-Sea Turtle Sean

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